Swedish foreign minister forgot to look within

Updated 18 March 2015
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Swedish foreign minister forgot to look within

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom should first have paid attention to the severe criticism made by the UN Human Rights Council on the serious violations committed against the rights of minorities in Sweden, including long detention periods and isolation cells in their prisons.
Perhaps, Wallstrom’s ignorance of the concept of the purity of the human rights encouraged her to level allegations against the Kingdom in the Swedish Parliament, which prompted the Arab League to condemn her statements altogether.
Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Sweden after that country’s outrageous intervention in the Kingdom’s internal affairs.
Wallstrom, whose country is contesting with Italy and the Netherlands to win one of the 10 non-permanent seats to the Security Council, ignored the provisions of the United Nations Declaration No. 36/103 endorsed on Dec. 9, 1981, stipulating that it is not permissible to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatsoever, in the internal and external affairs of other member states of the UN.
Before making any false accusations against Saudi Arabia’s supposed violation of human rights, the Swedish minister should have paid attention to Sweden’s violations of human rights, which were revealed in the report at the Human Rights Council last week in Geneva. The report pointed out the failure of the Swedish government to deal with hate crimes, discrimination and violation of minority rights.
The report warned that this was the second time that the Human Rights Council issued a warning to Sweden. The report also coincided with the statement of Swedish lawyer Yuan Vesteson, an activist of a civil rights defense organization, noting that the state of Sweden was weak in dealing with racial discrimination cases. It also emphasized that there were many irregularities in its way of dealing with hate crimes, while statistics indicated that only a few of the large number of such crimes were legally dealt with.
Before denouncing Saudi Arabia, the Swedish minister should have taken notice of the severe criticism brought up by the human rights organization on the violations committed by her country regarding the rights of minorities, including prolonged detentions of minority inmates in isolation cells. The entire world knows about Sweden’s discriminatory treatment of the Roma minority community, especially since this group has been marginalized over centuries and was at the receiving end of innumerable police assaults.
Wallstrom should also have acknowledged the absence of accountability in civilian institutions that failed to prevent 300 Swedish citizen from joining the Islamic State. According to a testimony given by the chief of Sweden’s Intelligence last November, “these young people have crossed the limits of humanitarian conduct in Sweden for committing terrorist acts.”
The Swedish minister, who worries about the Saudi human rights, should also have seen a Swedish TV program footage of one of the surveillance cameras in “Malmo” Central Station on the brutal police treatment of two nine-year-old Swedish children last month.
That is why the Swedish foreign minister should reconsider her views on the Kingdom’s human rights record.
— Al-Watan


Sirens to ring out over Riyadh as Saudi’s Civil Defense test warning system

Updated 18 September 2019

Sirens to ring out over Riyadh as Saudi’s Civil Defense test warning system

Warning sirens will sound over Riyadh on Thursday as the General Directorate of Civil Defense carries out tests on its public alarm system.

The test, which will also take place in Ad-Dilam, Diriyah and Khafji, are being carried out to ensure the sirens are effective and ready, Directorate of Civil Defense spokesman in Riyadh, Lt. Col. Mohammed Al-Hammadi, said.

The tests come as Saudi Arabia – backed by international world powers – investigates Saturday’s attacks on the Aramco oil facilities.

The Saudi Aramco facilities were hit in drone strikes earlier this week, causing fires to break out.

The Houthis claimed responsibility, but the United States believes the attacks originated in southwestern Iran, a US official told Reuters, an assessment that further increases tension in the Middle East.

In response, Iran issued a denial, warning it would respond to any attacks.