Monkey Business

Look at these adorable little faces?  Who have guessed that these sweet little animals would be stuck in a political imbroglio involving Saudi Arabia and Sweden.  The pygmy marmosets (the world's smallest monkeys) have been denied entry into Riyadh after the Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallström, dared to talk sense about Saudi Arabia.  (She was of course stopped before her speech but in the meantime she mentioned that she condemned the flogging of Raif Badawi*.)

“I had a phone call over Easter saying there would be no monkey business with Sweden,” said Jonas Wahlström, the director of the Skansen Akvariet in Stockholm. “The Saudis have heard that Sweden is a bad country.” Read here for more: No monkey business.

Well guess what?  We kind of think Saudi Arabia with its floggings, beheadings, discrimination of women and gays might not be the best of countries either.  But they do have good zoos from what I understand which now these little Swedish marmosets are now not allowed to enter.

* In the news is the flogging of blogger Raif Badawi who was flogged 50 times in January and was sentenced to be flogged 50 times every Friday for 19 weeks = 1,000 floggings .  His health is already bad and he was found unfit for additional floggings, but now he is in danger of possibly being found as "apostate" and being beheaded. He created a website called "Free Saudi Liberals" that is now defunct, and this is his "crime"
Does he look dangerous to you? (Here with his children who now live in Canada with this wife.)  I guess freedom of ideas and the expresssion of these is the most dangerous thing to Saudi Arabians, As Wallström tweeted before the businessmen in Sweden and powers that be made nicey-nicey with Saudia Arabia:  “Leadership = not just sailing downwind! Most questions require courage and patience. Proud to be clear on democracy and human rights.”  
I'm proud of Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström for trying to speak up! Even if nothing came of it.  More about how Sweden had to retract is posted on this site:


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