Letter Signed by Over 40 American writers, professors and activists calling on the University of New Haven to cancel their support for Saudi security studies at King Fahd Security College
At UNH, the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences
from the Press release 9/20/2017
September 20, 2017. A letter signed by over 40 writers, professors, human rights activists and others is calling for the University of New Haven (CT) to close down its BA program in security studies at King Fahd Security College in Saudi Arabia. The signers call Saudi Arabia a “serial human rights violator” and claim the kingdom is committing a “war crime” in its bombings and blockading of Yemen. They say criminal justice and forensic science skills transferred by UNH to Saudi Arabia will be used to hunt democratic dissidents, women standing up for their rights and those not following government mandated religious practices. The writers complain police techniques developed at UNH will be used against and those whose acts are deemed crimes of “witchcraft”, “apostasy” and “homosexuality” all of which are serious crimes in Saudi Arabia. They also note that Saudi Arabia is notorious for cruel punishments like whipping, beheading and crucifixion and the UNH should not be assisting Saudi security services in any way.
The letter was an effort of the Coalition to End the U.S.-Saudi Alliance . The full letter and the names of the over 40 signers are at the coalition’s website
The letter was sent to UNH President Steven H. Kaplan and Mario Thomas Gaboury, Dean of the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences and to the UNH Board of Governors. Among the signers are writers Chris Hedges, Adam Hochschild and Katha Pollitt, professors J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Nader Hashemi, Johnny E. Williams, and Ibrahim Imam, activists Medea Benjamin, Robert Naiman, and Ali Al Ahmed. Medical doctors Margaret Flowers, Azmat Husain, Ali R. Moosvi and Bishop John Selders of Moral Monday CT are other notable signers.
The Coalition to End the U.S.-Saudi Alliance was founded in New York City in 2015 to protest U.S. cooperation and arms sales to the Saudi absolute monarchy. Its founding groups were CODEPINK, the Middle East Crisis Committee (CT), Massachusetts Peace Action and the Institute for Gulf Affairs. Its site is www.saudius.org .
UNH announced creation of a BA program at the college in Riyadh in June of 2016 and the program is underway. In February UNH President Steven Kaplan said, “We are excited to put the University of New Haven’s world-renowned programs in criminal justice, national security, and forensic science studies at the service of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s next generation of security professionals” according to the UNH student newspaper “The Charger Bulletin” https://chargerbulletin.com/university-expands-to-sponsor-saudi-arabia-college/
The coalition has prepared petition for the general public to call for cancelation of this security training by UNH and will link to it on the SaudiUS.org website.
Background information about the charges against Saudi "security"
UNH, Stop Helping Saudi Arabian “Security” Police