Is the Claim of the Second al-Tubaigy Now Refuted?

Press Release: October 24, 2018

Stanley Heller, Executive Director of the Middle East Crisis Committee made this statement in answer to remarks by a UNH spokesperson:

In an article in the New Haven Register by Mark Zaretsky on October 24 Lyn Chamberlain, the University of New Haven spokesperson, defends UNH ties with King Fahd Security College and the article refers to statements by Henry C. Lee who said he did not know top Saudi forensic specialist Salah al-Tubaigy whom Turkish sources claimed took part in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, but who apparently was on an editorial board with Lee. Zaretsky reports that the name of Salah Tubaigy is no longer listed on the Editorial Board of the Saudi Society for Forensic Medicine. However, as of the morning of the 24th a Salah al-Tubaigy is still listed as being on the nine-person Governing Board of the Society itself.

I wrote to the Society two days ago asking about the possibility of a second Al-Tubaigy and like a Hartford Courant reporter received no answer. The Society's silence and the fact that the Society removed the name Salah Tubaigy from the Editorial Board page, I think, refutes the extraordinary claim that there were two forensic experts named al-Tubaigy.

In reading over the UNH spokesperson's statement there is one huge thing missing. There is no statement of outrage at the gruesome murder of Khashoggi. One would expect something like 'While our staff had nothing to do with al-Tubaigy or any of the other people on the alleged hit team, we're horrified by the murder of Khashoggi or the claim that a forensic scientist took part in the killing". No, nothing like that, all we hear from UNH is that ending its aid to the Saudi police college is isolationist and that Lee's program is "improving the justice system" of Saudi Arabia.

How has Saudi justice been improved since 2016? Has the regime returned the body to his family of peaceful activist Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr who was executed at the start of that year? Has it dropped the sentence of 1,000 lashes for Raif Badawi? Did it stop the mass arrests of artists and academics? How about the detention of the Saudi billionaires a year ago in the hotel until they coughed up billions to pay for their supposed corruption? Was there any due process in that, any actual legal charges, evidence, any legal representation allowed, any public records of what transpired? Did UNH assistance help convince the princes to stop beheadings and crucifixions or to lower the execution rate which had doubled since Prince Salman took over? Did it end arrests of feminists, like the women this year who had publicly been calling for women to have the right to drive?

There's also the matter of the hideous Saudi war on Yemen. King Fahd Security College is a police/military college. Is UNH absolutely sure none of its skills are of use to the Saudi military? Here's a bigger question. Would UNH have gone to the Soviet Union to help its justice system while the Soviets ravaged Afghanistan? Would UNH help a police college in Myanmar while its government ethnically cleanses the Rohingya? The line has to be drawn about helping serial human rights violators and aggressors.

We again call for political leaders to urge UNH to break its ties with King Fahd Security College and have a transparent investigation to the current UNH program in Saudi Arabia.

We have nothing but high regard for the University of New Haven and its students. That's why we have written to UNH officials and urged them to have a forum on campus, a panel discussion about Saudi Arabia. We suggest four speakers, two from UNH or Lee College itself and myself and noted Saudi dissident Ali Al-Ahmed. Al-Ahmed is the Director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs. He was in a Saudi prison at age 14 and is exiled and now living in the U.S. He's frequently in the media. You can search his name along with CNN, New York Times, Democracy Now, etc. The event could be moderated by the mayor of West Haven or a prominent CT journalist. It could be open to UNH students and faculty, the media, CT federal and state legislators and the public.

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