Human Rights First

UNH Contract with Saudi College Could Terminate in '21

Saudi "Justice" Hasn't Improved

May 2020.  UNH weathered the storm of criticism in 2018 over its ties to the Saudi tyranny and continued to help the Saudi police/military college in Riyadh.  It's five year contract with the college should end in June 2021 so people of conscience should work to make sure that contract NOT be renewed.  Though there have been a few changes in Saudi Arabia, but  #MBS tyrannical power has actually increased.

Some facts to point out:

UNH signed its initial contract in 2016 with the then Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.  He won't be signing any renewal.  The current Crown Prince put bin Naif in prison this March on a charge of "high treason".

In 2018 Crown Prince Bin Salman had scores of Saudi billionaires arrest and imprisoned in a luxury hotel, accused them of corruption and released them after shaking them down for a reported total of $100 billion.

After enormous world outcry Saudi authorities claimed they arrested people involved in the killing of Khashoggi.  The police action and legal prosecution were a farce.  They were done entirely in secret.  The names of those arrested were not made public.  The trial was not made public.  The names of those found guilty were not made public. No information was released about what happened to Khashoggi's remains.  We're supposed to take the Saudi authorities word (Dec. 2019) that five people were sentenced to death.  One news source claims that a UN rapporteur identified the names of those sentence to death and that among them was Salah al-Tubaigy who brought a bone saw to the supposed interrogation. 

Salah al-Tubaigy ("Mr. Bone Saw") is still on the Governing Board of the Saudi Forensic Society and UNH's Henry C. Lee is still listed as one of the editors of the Society's journal.

Several high profile Saudi feminists remain in prison and Amnesty International charges there is evidence of torture.

The Saudi military which is trained at the King Fahd Security College continues its involvement in murderous attacks and sieges of Yemen which has resulted in the killing of tens of thousands of Yemeni civilians.


After the Murder of Khashoggi

Henry C. Lee - Saleh Al-Tubaigy

 Shortly after the murder and dismembering of Saudi citizen and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 we uncovered a possible link between a man on the Saudi hit team and famous UNH forensic scientist Henry C. Lee. Saleh Al-Tubaigy dubbed "Mr. Bone Saw" the man who brought a bone saw to Khashoggi's interrogation was on the governing board of the Saudi Forensic Society. Lee was on the editorial board of the journal of that society. In terms of the journal Al-Tubaigy was one of Lee's bosses.

The disclosure caused a storm of media interest stretching from the local newspaper the "New Haven Register" to the international TV station Al Jazeera.

We publicly asked Lee to resign his post on the journal and renewed our call for UNH to stop assisting Saudi Arabia's police/military college.

 Henry C. Lee, Quit That Saudi Forensics Panel

Op-Ed New Haven Register April 9, 2019


Inside Higher Education11/8/18 

Al Jazeera Arabic 11/5/18 

Al Jazeera English 

Democracy Now! TV  Does Saudi Forensic Doctor Who Allegedly Dismembered Khashoggi Have Ties to Univ. of New Haven? 

UNH Student newspaper University Relationship with Saudi Arabia Called Into Question

Activist dismayed at UNH’s lack of ‘outrage’ over ‘murder of Khashoggi’ - New Haven Register10_25_2018 

New Haven Register UNH makes a statement and MECC's 

Stanley Heller remarks 10/24/18 WSHU interview 

Between the Lines radio, Scott Harris interview Oct 22


Mic Check radio interviewwith Mike Merli 10/21/18 

Newsweek 10/20 

New Haven Register 10/23 

New Haven Register 10/21 

Hartford Courant 

The Nation  

The Letter in 2017 Warning UNH (see next section)

 UNH Coverage in the UNH paper, The Charger 

UNH Puts Itself at the Service of a Tyranny


Call on You to Terminate the Program with King Fahd Security

Letter Sent to UNH Leaders

On September 20, 2017 this letter was sent to UNH by land mail (certified) and by email.  It was never answered.

Steven H. Kaplan
University of New Haven

Mario Thomas Gaboury

Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences

cc: Media, CT, West Haven elected officials

Dear President Kaplan and Dean Gaboury:

We understand the University of New Haven has set up a BA program for the King Fahd Security College in Riyadh. Experts from UNH’s Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences will advise their counterparts at KFSC and will specialize in “criminal justice, homeland security and intelligence studies”.

We call on the University of New Haven to immediately terminate this program. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is a serial human rights violator and is committing the war crime of aggression against neighboring Yemen. No university should offer the government of the KSA any security assistance especially in those specialties which help it commit grave violations to persons’ basic rights and well-being.

The kingdom considers “criminal” a whole host of acts that are protected by rights to freedom of speech, freedom of thought, rights to peacefully assemble and protest, and rights to practice religion. The kingdom is an absolute monarchy and does not respect any of those rights. For example the KSA levies severe punishment up to execution for the alleged crimes of “witchcraft”, “apostasy”, and “homosexual” acts. These are crimes only in the imagination of extreme bigots.

UNH is specifically going to create a curriculum specialization in “homeland security”. With a regime that sees all dissent as illegitimate UNH staff will unavoidably be helping the regime stamp out movements for democracy.

The advanced techniques developed at UNH will be used to track down people who peacefully protest abuses of government or simply discuss these matters. For example it will be helping the Saudi police find bloggers like Raif Badawi who is in prison for ten years with an additional sentence of 1,000 lashes despite winning Europe’s Sakharov Prize for his commitment to freedom.

As is well known there’s no freedom of religion in Saudi Arabia. Won’t UNH curriculum and skills be used by the kingdom’s rulers in its notorious persecution of its Shia citizens?

How will UNH make sure its skills taught to Saudi police won’t be used to track down women involved in such legal offenses such as driving cars, violating guardian laws, and not wearing an abaya? The answer is it can’t.

The KSA “justice system” often resorts to punishments like whipping, beheading and crucifixion. It is unconscionable for UNH staff to help KSA security personnel more efficiently arrest those who will eventually suffer such cruel and unusual punishments.

Finally, Saudi Arabia is involved in a cruel and unprovoked war against forces in neighboring Yemen. Over ten thousand civilians are dead. The wreck of water and sewage systems has resulted in plague of cholera with over 400,000 cases as of July 2017. How can UNH give any security assistance to a government involved in such a war crime?

End the program with King Fahd Security College and all collaboration with Saudi security and police.

(affiliations listed for ID purposes only)

Frieda Afary
Iranian Progressives in Translation
Los Angeles

Ali Al Ahmed
Institute for Gulf Affairs

Mansour Al-Hadj
writer and Editor-in-Chief of

Ghoufran Allababidi 
Tree of Life Education Fund

Malik Alsaeed
researcher & activist 

Frank Annunziato
New Haven

Paul Atwood, PhD
Senior Lecturer of American Studies
University of Massachusetts, Boston

John Battista, MD
New Milford, CT

Deborah Belle
Professor Emerita
Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences
Boston University

Medea Benjamin

Lenni Brenner
author “Zionism in the Age of the Dictators”

Lawrence Davidson
Professor Emeritus
Middle East history
West Chester University

Dr. Charles Derber
Sociology Dept
Boston College

Samuel Farber
Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science
Brooklyn College of CUNY

​Dr. Margaret Flowers
Baltimore, MD

John T. Fussell
Attorney, VP

Tree of Life Educational Fund

Joseph Gerson (PhD)
Executive Director
Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security

Tom Harrison
Campaign for Peace and Democracy

Nader Hashemi
University of Denver

Chris Hedges

Stanley Heller
host The Struggle Video News (TSVN)

Adam Hochschild

Azmat Husain MD
Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA)

Ibrahim Imam
Associate Professor of Computer Engineering and Computer Science
University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky

Dr. Paul Joseph
Sociology Department, Tufts University

J. Kehaulani Kauanui
Professor of American Studies and Anthropology
Wesleyan University

Jeff Klein
Board Member,
Massachusetts Peace Action
and retired local union president

Dr. Paula Kline
EdD in Education,
Harvard University

Joanne Landy
Campaign for Peace and Democracy

Rabbi Michael Lerner
Editor, Tikkun and chair of the interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives

Christopher Lowe
Ph.D. African History, Yale University
Portland, Oregon

Mazin Qumsiyeh
author, geneticist
Palestine Museum of Natural History

Ali R. Moosvi, MD
Co Founder, Muslims United For Justice
New Jersey

Justine McCabe, PhD
International Committee Green Party of the United States
New Milford, CT

Yasser Munif
Emerson College

Robert Naiman
Policy Director
Just Foreign Policy

Josh Perlstein
Associate Professor
​Central Connecticut State University

Katha Pollitt

Danny Postel
Northwestern University

Kumail Razvi
Al Baqee Organization NFP

Bishop John Selders
Moral Monday CT

Stephen R. Shalom
William Paterson University of New Jersey

Paul Shannon
Program Staff
American Friends Service Committee

Bill Shortell
New Britain, CT

Dr. Jill Stein
Green Party presidential candidate
2016, 2012

Johnny E. Williams
Professor of Sociology, Trinity College

Alan Wright
President of the Board​

Kevin Zeese, Esq.
Baltimore, MD


UNH, Break All Ties with Saudi Arabia

Who Will UNH Be Helping to Hunt Down?


The University of New Haven has agreed to to set up a BA program for the King Fahd Security College(KFSC) in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.  The agreement was made about a year ago. The UNH press release states that "Under the agreement, experts from UNH's Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences will advise their counterparts at KFSC"

The Hartford Courant reported on the agreement saying UNH will "shape the instruction of some security officers in Saudi Arabia".  UNH has a long relationship with Saudi Arabia and 400 Saudis are enrolled at the university, more than any other group of foreign students according to the Associated Press.

​Given that the kingdom has a whole host of "crimes" that are normal and praiseworthy acts in most countries what are the UNH experts getting involved in?  And with the KSA levying barbaric punishments of whipping, beheading and crucifixion even for  real crimes (like murder and armed robbery) UNH staff may be getting entangled in grave human rights abuses.

​Will advanced techniques developed at UNH be used to track down people who peacefully protest abuses of government?

Will they teach methods to use advanced facial recognition photography to identify faces in crowds?

Will they help in Saudi interrogations and "confessions"?

Saudi authorities put 30 Shia on trial in 2016 for such "crimes" as  "harming the reputation of the kingdom," and attempting to "spread the Shia confession"   Will UNH skills assist the kingdom's bigoted rulers in persecuting Shia?

Will UNH help the Saudis find bloggers like Raif Badawi who had created the blog "Free Saudi Liberals" and who is under sentence of 1,000 lashes?

Will UNH assist the Saudis in spying on Saudi students abroad and in making reports sent to the Mabahith, the General Investigation Directorate of the Saudi Ministry of Interior?

Will UNH teach sophisticated techniques to intercept messages from Blackberries and cell phones?

Will UNH have a section in the curriculum to help the Saudis catch witches?

How will UNH assist in "crimes" such as women driving, violations of guardian laws, and not wearing an abaya?

​Will UNH expertise in "forensic computer investigation" be put in the service of a regime that has an "Anti-Cyber Crime" law that criminalizes social media use that "promote adultery, homosexuality and atheism"? 

The Saudis are notorious for execution by decapitation, often in public. Another  Saudi penalty is "crucifixion" putting a decapitated body held up by a horizontal pole and allowing public viewing.  ​Amnesty International says Saudi Arabia applies the death penalty for a wide range of crimes including “adultery”, armed robbery, “apostasy”, drug smuggling, kidnapping, rape, “witchcraft” and “sorcery”.  How will UNH experts keep their techniques from being used to win convictions that carry the cruel and unusual Saudi kingdom punishments?

The Saudi justice system is notorious for lack of lawyers for the defense and its winking at confessions obtained under torture.  How can UNH experts offer any kind of training or expertise to such a degraded system?

​UNH is specifically going to create a curriculum specialization in "homeland security".  With a regime that sees all dissent as illegitimate won't UNH staff unavoidably be helping the regime stamp out movements for democracy?

Is it conceivable that UNH experts will be assisting in crimes against humanity?  What safeguards are going to be used to make sure UNH personnel don't cross red lines?

​The Associated Press said it took 8 years to deal with matters such as "cultural differences" and "concern about human rights issues".  What agreements were made about those concerns?