Friday, February 1, 2013 | Categories: Episodes
Should the RCMP train police in Saudi Arabia? - Former CSIS officer
Saudi Arabia does not have a constitution, it does not have a penal code, it does not have any form of representative government. And so the authorities in the country have absolute power because they can decide what a crime is or isn't depending on what's in their head, or what they say represents religious law.
That's where Sarah Lee Whitson begins when she's asked to describe the problems with Saudi Arabia's justice system. She's the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa Division. And she's not done yet.
The justice system itself is deeply flawed. There is limited access to lawyers. Lawyers who are defending political activists are often times themselves jailed and harassed. There's a great deal of uncertainty in terms of people not having basic due process protections, basic protections of any of their fundamental human rights starting with freedom of speech, or freedom of religion.
Despite that terrible human rights record, Canada's most iconic police force is considering an association with Saudi Arabia. The RCMP is in negotiations to provide investigative training for Saudi law enforcement. Critics say that's aiding and abetting a deeply troubled regime.
But Michel Juneau-Katsuya thinks it's an idea that could benefit both countries. He is a former intelligence officer with the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service or CSIS. Now he's CEO of the corporate security intelligence firm, The NorthGate Group and it's in Trois Rivieres, Quebec.
Should the RCMP train police in Saudi Arabia? - Center for Democracy & Human Rights in Saudi Arabia
Our next guest believes the Mounties should not get involved with law enforcement in the Saudi Kingdom. Ali Alyami was born and raised in Saudi Arabia before moving to the United States in 1967. He's now the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, it's a not-for-profit advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.
This segment was produced by The Current's Gord Westmacott, Jessica deMello and Vanessa Greco.
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Other segments from today's show: