The University of New Haven has agreed to to set up a BA program for the King Fahd Security College(KFSC) in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. The agreement was made about a year ago. The UNH press release states that "Under the agreement, experts from UNH's Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences will advise their counterparts at KFSC"
The Hartford Courant reported on the agreement saying UNH will "shape the instruction of some security officers in Saudi Arabia". UNH has a long relationship with Saudi Arabia and 400 Saudis are enrolled at the university, more than any other group of foreign students according to the Associated Press.
Given that the kingdom has a whole host of "crimes" that are normal and praiseworthy acts in most countries what are the UNH experts getting involved in? And with the KSA levying barbaric punishments of whipping, beheading and crucifixion even for real crimes (like murder and armed robbery) UNH staff may be getting entangled in grave human rights abuses.
Will advanced techniques developed at UNH be used to track down people who peacefully protest abuses of government?
Will they teach methods to use advanced facial recognition photography to identify faces in crowds?
Will they help in Saudi interrogations and "confessions"?
Saudi authorities put 30 Shia on trial in 2016 for such "crimes" as "harming the reputation of the kingdom," and attempting to "spread the Shia confession" Will UNH skills assist the kingdom's bigoted rulers in persecuting Shia?
Will UNH help the Saudis find bloggers like Raif Badawi who had created the blog "Free Saudi Liberals" and who is under sentence of 1,000 lashes?
Will UNH assist the Saudis in spying on Saudi students abroad and in making reports sent to the Mabahith, the General Investigation Directorate of the Saudi Ministry of Interior?
Will UNH teach sophisticated techniques to intercept messages from Blackberries and cell phones?
Will UNH have a section in the curriculum to help the Saudis catch witches?
How will UNH assist in "crimes" such as women driving, violations of guardian laws, and not wearing an abaya?
Will UNH expertise in "forensic computer investigation" be put in the service of a regime that has an "Anti-Cyber Crime" law that criminalizes social media use that "promote adultery, homosexuality and atheism"?
The Saudis are notorious for execution by decapitation, often in public. Another Saudi penalty is "crucifixion" putting a decapitated body held up by a horizontal pole and allowing public viewing. Amnesty International says Saudi Arabia applies the death penalty for a wide range of crimes including “adultery”, armed robbery, “apostasy”, drug smuggling, kidnapping, rape, “witchcraft” and “sorcery”. How will UNH experts keep their techniques from being used to win convictions that carry the cruel and unusual Saudi kingdom punishments?
The Saudi justice system is notorious for lack of lawyers for the defense and its winking at confessions obtained under torture. How can UNH experts offer any kind of training or expertise to such a degraded system?
UNH is specifically going to create a curriculum specialization in "homeland security". With a regime that sees all dissent as illegitimate won't UNH staff unavoidably be helping the regime stamp out movements for democracy?
Is it conceivable that UNH experts will be assisting in crimes against humanity? What safeguards are going to be used to make sure UNH personnel don't cross red lines?
The Associated Press said it took 8 years to deal with matters such as "cultural differences" and "concern about human rights issues". What agreements were made about those concerns?
Who Will UNH Be Helping to Hunt Down?