PERRY: It’s Al-Turki time! Aurora can save a man from being beaten to death by the Saudis for the holidays


A 74-year-old British man living in Saudi Arabia spent a year in prison for possessing homemade wine and now faces a public flogging that may kill him — but Aurora, and Colorado, may be able to save his life.

Karl Andree has worked in the oil industry in Saudi Arabia for years. About 14 months ago, police found bottles of homemade wine in his car. All alcohol is illegal there. He was sentenced to a year in prison, which he has served, but now, described as elderly and frail, he faces 350 lashes in public. His family fears it will kill him.

Such cases are hardly unusual. There are endless numbers of public beatings at the behest of the Saudi government each year. All kinds of “crimes” there can earn “criminals” lashes, which actually do draw blood and welts. If you’re caught saying something unflattering about the government or the religion, you’re lucky to get away with just a public beating. Women are regularly lashed in Saudi Arabia for crimes such as disobeying husbands, or doing uppity things like driving a car or showing too much skin, such as their hands, chins or necks.

And Saudi Arabia hardly limits itself to imprisonment and beatings. The country pretty much leads the world in executions, too. Those hanged, beheaded or stoned to death are punished for things like being gay or pushing for human rights or questioning why the government would allow religion to trump state laws.

I guess Americans can actually relate to that kind of craziness. Like Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis — who has become the patron saint of the religious right for refusing to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples — the Saudis believe that God’s law, sharia law, is supreme and overrules any legislation created by humans.

The Saudi Good Book says wine is the devil’s work and prescribes a ruthless beating as punishment just for possessing some. It’s  just like Davis’ Good Book insisting that adulterers and loose women, such as those who marry more than once, be stoned or punished to death by some other holy scheme.

It appears that officials in the U.K are saying, “So, sorry, Mr. Andree. The Saudis are good friends and allies of the Brits and the Americans. And, hey, what’s a little torture among friends, hmmmm?”

You could say that we westerners have it coming. Here in Aurora, we’re still imprisoning a fine, upstanding Saudi citizen who was caught kidnapping, raping and harboring a slave in his Aurora basement. Homaidan al-Turki continues to serve eight years to life in a state prison after being convicted in 2006 of unlawful sexual contact by use of force, false imprisonment and other sordid counts stemming from keeping his Indonesian immigrant housekeeper as a sex and domestic slave. Al-Turki and his wife made the woman sleep on a mattress on the basement floor and paid her less than $2 a day. They hid her passport and wouldn’t let her leave, and Al-Turki repeatedly raped the woman.

Al-Turki now refuses to undergo treatment for being a sex offender, so it’s unclear when he’ll be eligible for parole. The case caused an international stink a few years ago when the Saudi king and Islamic states all over the Mideast demanded Al-Turki’s release, saying that he was a victim of anti-Islamic craziness, a respectable guy, and that it was all a cultural misunderstanding.

No doubt. While there are millions of Muslims around the world who practice their religion without beating old men to death for possessing bad wine or murdering a few dozen people each year for offending their version of God, the Saudis have long been notorious abusers of humans and their rights. And they’ve long been our pals. Not because we want anything other than their oil, and they want only our money. That’s what friends are for.

So here’s what I’m suggesting. Al-Turki has now been in one Colorado prison or another for more than eight years, and he could some day soon be eligible for parole. Everyone knows that the minuted he’s paroled, the Saudi government will whisk him home and complete his punishment by giving him a good talking to, or whatever they do to upstanding men who get caught enslaving women, keeping them in the basement and raping them when they feel like it.

Colorado’s legislative contingent, starting with Aurora Congressman Mike Coffman and Sen. Michael Bennett, should approach President Barack Obama about some kind of an immediate pardon for Al-Turki. Keeping this kidnapper-rapist in a secure Colorado prison cell at taxpayer expense a few extra months isn’t going to do anyone here any good. He won’t be molesting anyone else here.

Obama should offer to give Al-Turki to the Saudis in exchange for not beating Andree to death, in the spirit of maintaining our warm and friendly relationship with the Saudi royal family, and all that oil. At the same time, if we can also make a deal to keep someone’s Saudi mom or a mouthy college kid there from being murdered by the royal government, all the better. But Colorado will rid itself of our own creepy sadist, end the taxpayer burden of harboring him with full medical benefits. Perhaps the Saudis will tie him to a tree and inflicting some whacks, and the Saudis have free healthcare.

For our part of the deal, we spare the life of an old man who’s worked in Saudi Arabia much of his life and had a taste for homemade wine in a place that desperately needs a drink.

And the next time someone like Kim Davis passionately says that she doesn’t follow U.S. law because it is overruled by her reading of God’s law, you’ll know what to do.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]

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Jason Smith
Jason Smith
6 years ago

I think this is a brilliant idea! But I also love that you talked about the correlation between Kim Davis and Muslim nations who put their God’s laws before human laws.

Beth Robey Hyde
Beth Robey Hyde
6 years ago

Has anyone started the petition?

Parris Bradley
Parris Bradley
6 years ago

Al Turkey deserves to rot in hell or be beaten to death. What’s a little kidnapping, rape and brutality amongst friends? May he burn in hell, and the sooner the better.