On 3 July 2019, during the 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) delivered an oral statement during the Council’s Item 4 General Debate drawing attention to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’ efforts to silence dissent and democratic action domestically and abroad.

Click here for a PDF of the submitted statement.

Please find the statement below.

Mr. President,
Alsalam and ADHRB would like to draw the Council’s attention to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’ efforts to silence dissent and democratic action domestically and abroad.

Saudi Arabia has frequently and violently acted to suppress dissent both at home and abroad. At home, the Saudi government has relied on arbitrary detention, torture, and executions to silence critics of the government. Recently, however, this repression has deepened under the direction of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman. In addition to overseeing the arrests of hundreds, he is allegedly responsible for personally ordered the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Abroad, Saudi Arabia has helped suppress popular movements in Yemen and Bahrain. For example, in 2011, Saudi forces actively assisted Bahraini security forces in putting down the Arab Spring protests. In Yemen, Saudi intervention has created the worst human rights catastrophe currently ongoing worldwide.

The United Arab Emirates has also quelled dissent at home and abroad. At home, Emirati Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed has worked to silence dissent, targeting critics and activists for arrest promulgating repressive laws that have worked to tighten controls online. Abroad, he has actively supported militias in Yemen and Libya some of which are known to commit torture or that actively working to undermine a UN recognized government.

The actions of both states demonstrate little care for human rights, and both Saudi Arabia and the UAE must be held to account for their actions—regardless of where they take place.

Thank you.