Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Collaborating with the Mutaween

The following video from German TV discusses the close association of German border police with the Saudi government. It focuses on the collaboration between the Germans and the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, more commonly known as the mutaween, or the “religious police”. The mutaween serve as front-line enforcers of sharia in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and operate with virtual impunity. According to this report, the German police officers are actually subordinate to their Saudi counterparts.

Many thanks to Hermes for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

A complete transcript is below the jump:

00:01 In recent months FAKT went deeper into this
00:05 secret project, making terrifying discoveries.
00:09 Contrary to what the government says, these images
00:13 prove that federal police work not for the government,
00:17 but hand-in-hand with the military company EADS.
00:21 German officers and company workers share an office,
00:25 make their training plans together. They are a team
00:29 in a project of millions. The military company
00:33 has sold a huge border-protecting facility to the Saudis,
00:37 with infrared cameras, ground radar, locating systems
00:41 and a surveillance centre, and the German police
00:45 are a part of the deal.
00:49 This is very clearly an EADS project,
00:53 and the federal police are just contractors of EADS,
00:57 German officers serving a military company.
01:01 But this is not all. After having confirmed a great
01:05 number of irregularities at the training project,
01:09 new investigations by FAKT revealed a new problem.
01:13 The Saudi religious police work in the entire project.
01:17 They are part of the border surveillance, have a fixed place
01:21 in the operational centre of the high-tech border.
01:25 There is a leading officer in this surveillance room,
01:29 and in addition a representative of the religious police, who
01:33 has a fix place there, and also makes decisions.
01:37 The Saudi religious police are very brutal, irregular;
01:41 they put sharia law into practice through violence.
01:45 Countless human rights abuses are attributed to them.
01:49 The Interior Ministry explained to an inquiry by FAKT
01:53 that no religious police were taking part in the
01:57 training courses, but this is a half-truth, because
02:01 the guardians of religion have another task: with the commanding officer
02:05 they determine the faith of people
02:09 caught at the border. For Amnesty International,
02:13 the Saudi religious police are the worst human
02:17 rights violators in the world. The religious police
02:21 are part of the inner security forces in Saudi Arabia.
02:25 They work closely with the police, and they maintain
02:29 the population in fear and oppression.
02:33 They put sharia into practice in everyday life.
02:37 They join mainly as volunteers. They are
02:41 totally irregular, and immune from prosecution.
02:45 For the German officers the presence of the
02:49 religious police in the whole project is no secret,
02:53 as this photo leaked by FAKT proves. There was
02:57 no rejection by the federal police, as there was by part of
03:01 the hardline Salafists. The brutality
03:05 of the religious police is very well known to
03:09 the German officers. According to colleagues who
03:13 personally took part in executions in Riyadh, there
03:17 have been stonings, the amputation of hands, beheadings.
03:21 And all with a sense that it was natural to carry this out
03:25 even with foreigners looking on. German
03:29 officers at executions, this is the seeming reality
03:33 to which the German government silently surrenders,
03:37 a government which has clearly established legal strictures:
03:41 in this project, German officers must submit to Saudi law.
03:45 To speak clearly, the basis for cooperation is the Islamic
03:49 law, the sharia.
03:52 A completely dark project, and we must fear that
03:57 human rights violations are being committed.
04:01 The federal government must eventually disclose what
04:05 is really happening. And I fear that it cannot affirm
04:09 that it won't contribute to violations of human rights.
04:13 The entire project is outrageous, German federal
04:17 police are being hired by a military company, they
04:21 train security forces in techniques which can be used
04:25 to silence the opposition, and among the trainees,
04:29 there are Saudi secret service agents, and last but not
04:33 least, the religious police are a fixed part of the project.
04:37 For the opposition, these conditions became unbearable.
04:41 They call for the withdrawal of the officers.
04:45 There's a general conception among the opposition:
04:49 away with Saudi Arabia
04:53 and out of this police mission.
04:57 But the government is not thinking of a withdrawal.
05:01 Quite the opposite; the project will be expanded.
05:05 The job advertisements at the federal police
05:09 are already being issued.