Arab Autocrat Visa Applications to Saudi Arabia Spike in Wake of Egyptian Revolution

Posted on February 11, 2011

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EP: Riyadh – Amidst the collapse of Hosni Mubarak’s 30 years of rule in Egypt, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign affairs is reporting a spike in visa applications from Arab autocrats under the country’s “Retired Tyrant” extended stay program. While an official from the Ministry declined to comment on who was applying, he did say that he received an unusual number of inquiries in the last 24 hours, coinciding with Hosni Mubarak’s final speech to the Egyptian people. The “Retired Tyrant” visa program allows for individuals who have systematically terrorized, tortured, murdered and otherwise oppressed large Muslim majority populations to retire in luxury and comfort in the Saudi kingdom after being disgraced and thrown out of their homelands via popular revolts.

King Abdullah of Jordan and former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak discuss bunk-bed arrangements for their expected exiles in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has gained a reputation as the destination of choice for exiled Muslim tyrants, providing  a generous stipend to compensate for any frozen assets. A number of disgraced former strong men including Idi Amin of Uganda and most recently, ousted Tunisian President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali have taken advantage of the program. Prior to being thrown out of office by his people, Hosni Mubarak was personally invited by King Abdullah to join the group. The King’s office confirmed the invitation is still in place.

King Abdullah of Jordan formally announced that he is applying for the program. “I have all the paperwork in order, I just need to get two passport size photos and I should be all set” he informed reporters. The Jordanian King is facing a series of street protests calling for reform and greater accountability, which he has responded to with largely cosmetic and ceremonial actions. Some question whether the Jordanian King has been responsible for enough murder and oppression to qualify for the visa given his relatively short tenure as King. “I am crossing my fingers, but I think my credentials speak for themselves.” In particular, Abdullah believes his self-serving and duplicitous actions in support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine will ensure approval.

At the same time, some Arab leaders are questioning whether the application process is worth the time. “Saudi could be next” said an Arab despot who wished to remain anonymous.

The program has also received criticism from migrant workers in the country. Jamshed Aziz, a Pakistani cab driver who has lived in Saudi Arabia for thirty years without residency status, said “Instead of earning a decent living, I should have spent the last three decades terrorizing a population of Muslims. Then maybe these people would treat me like a human being.”

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