What happens when national interest conflicts with cyclist justice?
This week, British nationals may have learned that that their lives are considered expendable.
On Thursday, February 25, four cyclists were riding on the outskirts of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Among the cyclists was John Currie, 54, a British national employed in human resources for BAE Systems.
As reported in the Telegraph, local youths in two cars were “cutting up” (driving aggressively against) the four cyclists. One of the cars clipped one of the cyclists, knocking him from his bike. One of the drivers then turned around and drove straight at the cyclists, plowing directly into them. Currie was slammed into the windshield, sustaining serious injuries; he later succumbed to his injuries.
The day after this report appeared in the British press, Arab News reported that the “UK Embassy rules out foul play in cyclist’s death.” According to this report, sources at the British Embassy in Riyadh were referring to the fatality as “nothing more than a ‘tragic accident.’”
There are three possibilities here:
- One possibility is that the Telegraph got its facts wrong, and this really was nothing more than a “tragic accident.”
- Another possibility is that it was Arab News that got its facts wrong, and the British Embassy was not calling this a “tragic accident.”
- The third possibility is that both press reports were accurate—John Currie was deliberately run down by a Saudi driver, and the British Embassy was calling it a “tragic accident.”
Whichever is the case, British citizens deserve some answers from their government.