The building pictured above is the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London. Inside those walls, everything is subject to the domestic law of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and is also the official home of His Highness Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz – Ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. In terms of International Diplomatic Protection, if the Ambassador was to advance on a Saudi citizen, detained inside that Embassy; he would and could be able to swing one of those jewel-hilted but razor-sharp swords which the fuzzy-wuzzies so prize, and lift the head of that same Saudi citizen clean off his shoulders, and there is not a single thing that the British Government could do about it, because Saudi Arabia Law operates inside those expensive gates and walls, and that is it. The Brits could request the Ambassador’s removal, and declare him ‘Persona Non Grata’. But they would be obliged to let him travel in his armour-plated limousine to Heathrow, with only a peremptory check on his Diplomatic Passport, and he would then be able to fly away to freedom, a killer who had literally walked away free.
But all the foregoing words are mere supposition, because the Ambassador, for all I know, is totally against the use of force, and the very sight of blood might even make him faint. But the theory, the philosophy, of the Saudi Rule of Law is correct. Inside those gated walls and fences, it is as though Saudi Arabia had been transplanted to a central London location. It is, in all senses of the term; inviolate. No police officer, not even another diplomat, can enter without the specific approval of the Saudis, and that is exactly the same for every Diplomatically protected building, in London or anywhere else in the world.
But we read today of an allegation which is almost a certainty; of a Saudi citizen walking into his Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to arrange for marriage papers, a marriage to a Turkish woman who was waiting just outside the gates. She waited, and waited, and eventually called the police and declared her fiance ‘missing, presumed dead’!
It seems that the missing man was a Saudi who disagreed violently and publicly over many of his Nation’s domestic and foreign policies. The Turkish authorities state that they have instituted enquiries with the Saudi Consulate, but believe that the protester had been murdered by the Saudis, and his body had been secretly removed by staff members. Even for the Saudis, if true, this is indeed a departure too far from the norms of diplomatic privilege and behaviour. But we probably won’t hear much more about it, because the Saudis have grown thin-skinned of late when it comes to criticism from foreign, especially western-oriented lands. Criticism from Canada over the treatment of Saudi bloggers, together with the news that Canada had given citizenship to a family of Saudi critics; was enough to get the Canadian Ambassador declared ‘persona non grata’, recalled their own Ambassador, and cancelled lucrative business contracts with Canadian companies. We have, in Britain, a well-documented report on terror activities funded directly and indirectly by the Saudis, but it will never see the light of day as long as the Tories are running things: we might see those Billion pound weaponry and fighter aircraft contracts torn up by the Royal Dictators if Britain ever dared to speak the truth about the crimes which are sourced directly from Riyadh: and that would just never, ever, do!