Wednesday 3 July 2019 – During the 41st session of the Human Rights Council, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) delivered an oral intervention during Item 5 of the General Debate. In the intervention, ADHRB raised concerns of the systematic and extensive humans rights violations that have been committed and are still ongoing in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, or click here for the PDF.

Mr. President,

Alsalam and ADHRB would like to call the Council’s attention to systematic and widespread human rights violations committed by Saudi Arabia, a Member State on the Council and the United Arab Emirates, a former Member State.

Saudi Arabia is a Member of this Council and also to the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Despite its role in leading UN human rights bodies, Saudi Arabia has engaged in widespread human rights abuses. The kingdom has engaged in the war in Yemen including bombing civilian targets. Saudi Arabia also continues to carry out executions, most recently in April 2019, when it executed 37 men including Munir Al Adam and Abbas al Hassan. It continues to detain and torture activists, including women’s rights defenders.

The United Arab Emirates has previously been a member of the Council. When running for membership, it ostensibly committed itself to upholding human rights. This obligation has not ceased. It too has committed numerous rights abuses, including engaging alongside Saudi Arabia in Yemen where it supports militias that engage in widespread torture and sexual abuse. Domestically, the UAE has targeted and imprisoned activists like Ahmed Mansoor and failed to provide adequate health services to its inmates in prison, something that was highlighted by the recent death of woman’s rights activist Alia Abdulnoor in prison, when she succumbed to breast cancer. 

We call upon Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to take steps to seriously improve their human rights record and to engage with the Council and its mechanisms in a fruitful manner.

Thank you.