ADHRB at HRC39 dismisses Saudi claims to reform, noting continued widespread repression

On Tuesday 18 September 2018 at the 39th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Ali Adubisi of the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights delivered an intervention with Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) during the Item 4 General Debate. In his intervention, Adubisi dismissed Saudi Arabia’s claims to reform, noting the proliferation of institutions empowered to restrict rights and enable oppression, while also calling attention to continued attacks on women’s rights defenders and the targeting of human rights organizations. Continue reading for the intervention, or click here for a PDF of his remarks.

Mr. President,

Far from what Saudi Arabia says here, I tell you the truth of what is happening there:

King Salman established the Presidency of State Security in 2017, the harshest body in the history of internal repression, kidnapping, killing, and torturing children, and more recently adopting a policy of hostages, to blackmail opponents abroad.

It also eliminated the independence of the judiciary and legislation, where the parliament is appointed, and the public prosecution refers back to it, and the judiciary appoints and dismisses it.

Saudi Arabia claims reform, while the country is experiencing the worst periods of repression. For example, human rights institutions, such as HASM, Adala, Al-Ettihad, and Al-Marsad, were banned and most of their members were imprisoned.

Saudi Arabia claims to fight corruption, while the King’s son occupies 12 positions, and the monopoly of authorities is the highest form of corruption.

Saudi Arabia is carrying out the worst persecution of women in its history. For the first time, the prosecution has demanded the execution of a woman human rights activist, Israa al-Ghomgham, in a mock trial.

Samar Badawi gave a statement in this seat back in 2014 defending detainees. She is now imprisoned under the laws of terrorism.

Loujain Al-Hathloul has attended here before as well, but she is now in prison, and the official media is looming to her execution.

The number of executions is high, where at least 62 people are at risk of being executed and 28 bodies are being held, some of which are children and demonstrators.

Both the United Kingdom and the United States are playing roles that contribute to the strengthening of the Saudi dictatorship.

Saudi Arabia is exploiting its membership for the fourth time in the Human Rights Council to mislead and spread lies, rather than promote human rights. This is a disgrace to this council and a serious stance should be taken immediately to preserve the dignity and value of this council.

Thank you.