Our “allies” from Saudi Arabia aren’t very good house guests. Out in Los Angeles there is yet another case of a foreign diplomat gone wild, with a member of the Saudi royal family standing accused of sexual assault on a female employee who was found bleeding and attempting to scale the walls to escape their compound. (NBC News)
A member of the Saudi royal family was arrested in Los Angeles on suspicion of trying to force a woman to perform a sex act on him, police said Thursday.
Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Drake Madison said Majed Abdulaziz Al-Saud, 29, was arrested Wednesday afternoon on three counts, with the main charge being forced oral sex of an adult. Al-Saud is a member of the royal family, according to the LAPD.
Police said the alleged assault occurred in the Beverly Glen area in West Los Angeles, and the alleged victim was a worker at the property.
The rather vanilla reporting from NBC goes on to note that Al-Saud was released on $300K bail and has a court date next month. You know what that means, of course. This guy is going to leave the country claiming diplomatic immunity and nobody will lift a finger to stop him. This is hardly anything new, though. The Saudis are famous for abusing diplomatic immunity to get away with murder (in some cases, literally) and get on with their jet setting lifestyle. In case you think I’m exaggerating, you don’t need to dig back into the dusty annals of history to find other examples. Just two weeks ago two Nepali maids were allegedly raped by another Saudi diplomat in India. You can guess what happened next. (The Guardian)
A Saudi diplomat accused of holding captive, beating and repeatedly raping two Nepali women hired as domestic servants in his luxury apartment near New Delhi has left India under diplomatic immunity.
Indian foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup issued a statement on Wednesday night saying the diplomat “who is allegedly accused of abusing two Nepali maids has left India”. The diplomat was protected by the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations, Swarup said, giving no further details.
These “understandings” between countries have been in place since the sixties and are one of the earlier examples of so called “international law” in the modern era. And of course, when an offer like that is on the table people are going to abuse it. Isn’t it time to give this policy a fresh look? I can’t believe that there is anything binding us to international agreements which are so easily abused.
I can understand having diplomatic immunity in place for things which protect ambassadors and their staff from accusations involving activities which directly relate to their jobs. A diplomat could readily be accused of spying anywhere in the world and hauled in to face serious consequences, so giving them a pass on that might be acceptable. Also, I suppose I’m willing to give them a pass on annoyances such as parking tickets, etc. just to keep relations smooth on the larger playing field. But for serious charges and violent crimes there should be some level of accountability. Al-Saud is going to go back home or to wherever the next party is taking place and the Saudis aren’t going to do a thing about this.
I would blame this on the fact that Saudi Arabia is a dubious ally at best, but the fact is that it takes place with representatives from all over the world. The downside to making the change I suggest, however, is that there would probably be immediate retaliation against our own ambassadors.