New Coalition Calls for the End of the U.S.-Saudi Alliance; Condemns Saudi's Domestic Repression and Civilian Deaths in Yemen

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Medea Benjamin 415-235-6517 medea@codepink.org  

Ali Al Ahmed  media@gulfinstitute.org 202-466-9500  

Stanley Heller, 203-934-2761 mail@TheStruggle.org

New Coalition Calls for the End of the U.S.-Saudi Alliance; Condemns Saudi's Domestic Repression and Civilian Deaths in Yemen

WASHINGTON - As Saudi Arabia’s King Salman comes to Washington for a September 4 White House visit, a new coalition of human rights organizations is calling on the United States to end its alliance with the absolute monarchy.

The Coalition to End the U.S.-Saudi Alliance denounces the kingdom for its shocking domestic human rights abuses and its disastrous Yemen war. It demands that the U.S. stop wasting the enormous amount of money that our government spends supporting Saudi Arabia and its collaborators in the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The founding members of the coalition are the Institute for Gulf Affairs, CODEPINK, the Middle East Crisis Committee (Connecticut) and Peace Action (Massachusetts).

The Coalition has started a website - “End the U.S.-Saudi Alliance” - found at www.SaudiUS.org. It is launching a petition calling on the President and Congress to close all American bases in the Persian Gulf and bring home the U.S. military immediately. The link to it is http://www.SaudiUS.org/act-now.html.

“Four years ago Princeton professor Roger Stern said the U.S. had spent $8 trillion dollars on military measures in the Persian Gulf over the last four decades.  There is no reason to go on spending tens of billions of dollars a year to defend monarchies with horrific human rights records that routinely attack or interfere in neighboring countries," says Ali Al Ahmed, the Director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs.

“Horrific punishments from beheading to lashings are routinely carried out in Saudi Arabia," says Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK. "The kingdom’s repression of women is notorious worldwide.  It’s time to break the cozy relationship between our government and the Saudi regime.”

“Nearly 5,000 people have been killed in the Saudi led attack on Yemen. The U.S. is openly coordinating our ally’s air raids. This is participation in war crimes and we demand its immediate end,” said Stanley Heller, Executive Director of the Middle East Crisis Committee.

The group is planning to protest King Salman's visit, particularly the Saudi airstrikes in Yemen that have killed so many civilians.

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CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects foreign policies based on domination and aggression, and instead calls for policies based on diplomacy, compassion and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.

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