ADHRB at HRC: Executions in Saudi Arabia

On March 15, 2016 at the 31st session of the Human Rights Council, on behalf of Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain and the European Saudi Organization for Human Rights, Ali Aldubaisi delivered an Item 4 General Debate oral intervention on executions in Saudi Arabia.

Please continue reading for his full remarks, or click here to read a PDF of his intervention.

Mr. President,

Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain and European Saudi Human Rights Organization considers the day on which 47 detainees were executed on 2 Jan 2016 one of the most prominent days of injustice, tyranny, and violation of human rights in Saudi Arabia. Among those executed were the demander of social justice Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr; minors like Ali Al Rabah and Mustafa al-Abkar; protesters Mohammed al-Shyookh and Mohammed al-Somail; and Mutlaq who was epileptic, lost his mental capabilities in detention and was executed without access to a lawyer.

Authorities still refrain from handing the bodies to their families, despite claims made by the families of Sheikh al-Nimr, al-Rabah, AlShyookh, al-Shyookh, and al-Somail.

The systematic violations committed by Saudi Arabia under an umbrella of impunity, such as arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance, torture, lack of judicial independence and marginalization of the role of lawyers, were the basis for these dreadful executions.

We call on the Council to investigate this unprecedented violation of the most important rights, the right to life.

Our demands to launch an investigation is not only for the execution of 47 on 2 January, as we’re waiting for the worse. Based on our numbers, today there are 55 detainees at imminent risk of execution, including 12 minors and a holder of opinion, of whom the vast majority have not been charged with serious crimes. The majority had been severely tortured, including 25 accused of spying for Iran trial whose trials are ongoing which lacks the principles of fair trials. There is serious fear for their lives, especially with the unprecedented political conflicts in the middle east, and the mobilization of the intensive media campaigns against them in the official media, although their trials are ongoing, and defamation of defense lawyers in the official media.

An urgent action needs to be taken to stop the terrifying upcoming executions due the large number and being arbitrarily. Executions increased in 2015 to 80%, and in 2016 up to date it’s higher than last year with 60%.

Torture is used in leniency and widespread scope. Despite comments delievered by Saudi Arabia on Mr. Special Rapporteur last week 8 March that it is “combating torture”. Maki al-Orayed who was killed on 6 March under torture two days after his arbitrary arrest, is not the last victim. His body was not given to his family until today,

The moral and legal responsibilities of the Human Rights Council increase when it continues to not take a serious and clear position about a member who is committing all these violations.

Thank you Mr. President.