Homemade wine

From the Guardian:

The children of a British man have called on David Cameron to intervene to save their father from being subjected to 350 lashes in Saudi Arabia. Karl Andree, 74, faces being publicly flogged as part of a punishment imposed after bottles of homemade wine were reportedly found last year in his car by Saudi police enforcing strict laws prohibiting alcohol.

The family of the oil executive, who is being held at Jeddah’s Briman prison, say he is already weak as a result of cancer and fear that the flogging will kill him.

Once again, words fail me. The guy is 74 years old and has cancer. He had some wine – and for that they want to hit him with a whip 350 times. What can possibly be the point? The motivation? The justification? Why does someone else’s consumption of wine matter so much that it’s worth whipping him to death?

“He is 74 years of age, has had cancer three times and his wife is dying in a home in the UK. He now needs medical care for his cancer and asthma, and there is no doubt in our mind that 350 lashes will kill him. We implore David Cameron to personally intervene and help get our father home. The Saudi government will only listen to him.”

The Foreign Office said: “Our embassy staff are continuing to assist Mr Andree, including regular visits to check on his welfare, and frequent contact with his lawyer and family. Ministers and senior officials have raised Mr Andree’s case with the Saudi government and we are actively seeking his release as soon as possible.”

And yet Jack Straw said a few years ago that the UK and the KSA rejoiced in “shared values.”


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