Steven H. Kaplan
University of New Haven
Mario Thomas Gaboury
Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences
cc: Media, CT, West Haven elected officials
Dear President Kaplan and Dean Gaboury:
We understand the University of New Haven has set up a BA program for the King Fahd Security College in Riyadh. Experts from UNH’s Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences will advise their counterparts at KFSC and will specialize in “criminal justice, homeland security and intelligence studies”.
We call on the University of New Haven to immediately terminate this program. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is a serial human rights violator and is committing the war crime of aggression against neighboring Yemen. No university should offer the government of the KSA any security assistance especially in those specialties which help it commit grave violations to persons’ basic rights and well-being.
The kingdom considers “criminal” a whole host of acts that are protected by rights to freedom of speech, freedom of thought, rights to peacefully assemble and protest, and rights to practice religion. The kingdom is an absolute monarchy and does not respect any of those rights. For example the KSA levies severe punishment up to execution for the alleged crimes of “witchcraft”, “apostasy”, and “homosexual” acts. These are crimes only in the imagination of extreme bigots.
UNH is specifically going to create a curriculum specialization in “homeland security”. With a regime that sees all dissent as illegitimate UNH staff will unavoidably be helping the regime stamp out movements for democracy.
The advanced techniques developed at UNH will be used to track down people who peacefully protest abuses of government or simply discuss these matters. For example it will be helping the Saudi police find bloggers like Raif Badawi who is in prison for ten years with an additional sentence of 1,000 lashes despite winning Europe’s Sakharov Prize for his commitment to freedom.
As is well known there’s no freedom of religion in Saudi Arabia. Won’t UNH curriculum and skills be used by the kingdom’s rulers in its notorious persecution of its Shia citizens?
How will UNH make sure its skills taught to Saudi police won’t be used to track down women involved in such legal offenses such as driving cars, violating guardian laws, and not wearing an abaya? The answer is it can’t.
The KSA “justice system” often resorts to punishments like whipping, beheading and crucifixion. It is unconscionable for UNH staff to help KSA security personnel more efficiently arrest those who will eventually suffer such cruel and unusual punishments.
Finally, Saudi Arabia is involved in a cruel and unprovoked war against forces in neighboring Yemen. Over ten thousand civilians are dead. The wreck of water and sewage systems has resulted in plague of cholera with over 400,000 cases as of July 2017. How can UNH give any security assistance to a government involved in such a war crime?
End the program with King Fahd Security College and all collaboration with Saudi security and police.
(affiliations listed for ID purposes only)
Iranian Progressives in Translation
Ali Al Ahmed
Institute for Gulf Affairs
writer and Editor-in-Chief of Aafaq.org
Tree of Life Education Fund
researcher & activist
Paul Atwood, PhD
Senior Lecturer of American Studies
University of Massachusetts, Boston
John Battista, MD
New Milford, CT
Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences
author “Zionism in the Age of the Dictators”
Middle East history
West Chester University
Dr. Charles Derber
Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science
Brooklyn College of CUNY
Dr. Margaret Flowers
John T. Fussell
Tree of Life Educational Fund
Joseph Gerson (PhD)
Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security
Campaign for Peace and Democracy
University of Denver
host The Struggle Video News (TSVN)
Azmat Husain MD
Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA)
Associate Professor of Computer Engineering and Computer Science
University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky
Dr. Paul Joseph
Sociology Department, Tufts University
J. Kehaulani Kauanui
Professor of American Studies and Anthropology
Massachusetts Peace Action
and retired local union president
Dr. Paula Kline
EdD in Education,
Campaign for Peace and Democracy
Rabbi Michael Lerner
Editor, Tikkun and chair of the interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives
Ph.D. African History, Yale University
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Ali R. Moosvi, MD
Co Founder, Muslims United For Justice
Justine McCabe, PhD
International Committee Green Party of the United States
New Milford, CT
Just Foreign Policy
Central Connecticut State University
Al Baqee Organization NFP
Bishop John Selders
Moral Monday CT
Stephen R. Shalom
William Paterson University of New Jersey
American Friends Service Committee
New Britain, CT
Dr. Jill Stein
Green Party presidential candidate
Johnny E. Williams
Professor of Sociology, Trinity College
President of the Board
Kevin Zeese, Esq.