2004 Press Release

Saudi Ambassador to the United States cautions not to condemn all Americans for actions of few; calls Berg murder criminal and inhuman

[Jeddah, Saudi Arabia] [May 12, 2004]  -- In response to questions from Saudi media concerning the treatment of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers in Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad and the decapitation of U.S. citizen Nicholas Berg, Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar bin Sultan said the following:

“There is no doubt that the treatment of a number of Iraqi prisoners by some U.S. military personnel is despicable and criminal.  Saudi media, however, should be aware that we do not make the same mistake of generalization that was made by the U.S. media and certain American politicians - and from which we have grievously suffered - when it became clear that 15 out of the 19 criminals who carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks were Saudis. Accusations were leveled against all Saudis, who were labeled as terrorists; accusations that are untrue and unacceptable.  That is why we should now condemn only those who committed these horrendous acts against Iraqi prisoners, and make clear that they do not represent the majority of the U.S. military, and certainly not the American people and their morality.”


When asked to comment on the decapitation of U.S. citizen Nicholas Berg, Prince Bandar said:

“There is no doubt that killing detainees and mutilating the remains of the dead are acts which are condemned by all religions and contrary to the morals of all nations and peoples. They are inhuman acts regardless of who does them.  That is why I condemn this criminal and inhuman act.  The Al-Zargawi group is a criminal, deviant and un-Islamic group, allied with bin Laden and the criminals of Al-Qaeda who are killing even Muslims and Arabs for no reason. Accordingly, it is not out of character for them to commit acts that violate the teachings of Islam, a noble religion that deplores such acts.”