Seems not a week goes by without an eye raising story coming out of Saudi Arabia, and this week it’s news that a 74-year-old British citizen will be publicly lashed for being caught with some alcohol.
Thing is, this pensioner — Karl Andree — has already spent over a year in Jeddah’s brutal Briman Prison after being arrested by Saudi religious police for transporting homemade wine in his vehicle.
Alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia, and the punishment for being caught with it is obviously severe.
Fundamentalist Saudi Arabia is ruled under strict Shari’ah (or Islamic) law.
Andree’s family in the U.K. are naturally upset, and they’re afraid that he may not survive the ordeal given that his health is already frail.
See this news report below about Andree’s situation:
His daughter, Kirsten Piroth, says that she was initially led to believe that because of her father’s age and health that he wasn’t going to get lashed, she told BBC News.
Now that Andree will be given the 350 lashes, Piroth believes her father won’t survive.
“He’s an old man, he’s 74, he’s survived three types of cancer with very strong cancer treatments, he’s asthmatic, he has gout — he’s not very well,” she said.
“He’s got a great spirit, but his bodily health is not great and I just feel like he received his sentence, and he did his time. and I just want him home now.”
The U.K. government is appealing to Saudi authorities to not go through with the punishment. According to Human Rights Watch, lashings are usually “carried out with a light wooden cane, and the blows are distributed across the back and legs, which leaves bruising, but normally does not break the skin.”
According to The Telegraph, Andree worked in the Gulf state as an oil executive, and he has lived there for 25 years.
Human rights abuser
When it comes to human rights, Saudi Arabia has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons this year, with the most recent being the case of a young man being sentenced to be crucified for protesting against the Saudi authorities when he was a teenager.
Controversially, the Middle East country was last month appointed to oversee the UN’s human rights panel for the second time. How that eventuated goes beyond the brief of this post, but it reveals how much rot has set into the U.N.
To understand what I mean, watch this video about Saudi Arabia’ human rights violations: