Secrets of the Saudi State

5th March 2002| Channel 4 Dispatches

In the wake of the terror attacks in America in 2001, reporter Deborah Davies and the Hardcash team investigate the culture of extremism and religious intolerance which is escalating in Saudi Arabia. Starting in the Philippines, and moving out into Nigeria, the US, and back into Britain, we meet practising Christians who have been subjected to everything from intimidation to arrest and torture for their beliefs. The ex-prisoners and expatriates talk about the treatment of non-Saudis inside this empire of vast wealth and abject poverty.

The film also investigates the legitimacy of Saudi Arabia’s claims that the British expatriate bar-owners were responsible for the recent bomb blasts in major cities. Because the state has banned journalists and nearly all foreigners from entering the country, the crew pose as tourists and embark on a tightly controlled, German-organised tour of Saudi Arabia. They filmed secretly during the holiday, this being the only option available to them in their quest to enter and report from the country itself.

The Secrets of Saudi State presents an alarming insight into a country which the West simultaneously relies upon and fears: the world’s largest exporter of oil, and the breeding ground of terrorism.

Reporter: Deborah Davies
Directed & Produced by Andrew Smith
Executive Producer: David Henshaw