ADHRB Condemns Saudi Arabia’s Use of Death Penalty in Contravention to UPR Recommendations

4On 5 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 Item 6 General Debate, drawing the Council’s attention to Saudi Arabia’s failure to comply with 3rd Cycle UPR recommendations. Underlining the government’s continued implementation of capital punishment, ADHRB calls upon the Human Rights Council to hold all parties of the conflict accountable to participate without delay in UN-led peace negotiations. Please click here for a pdf version, or continue reading below.

Mr. President,

Alsalam and ADHRB would like to draw the Council’s attention to Saudi Arabia’s ongoing application of capital punishment in contravention to a number of recommendations the kingdom received during its 3rd cycle Universal Periodic Review.

In November 2018, Saudi Arabia underwent its 3rd Cycle Universal Periodic Review. During its review, it received 258 recommendations, including a number urging it to halt executions.

Only a month earlier, in October, Saudi expatriate journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. It later emerged that Saudi agents working under Mohammad bin Salman’s orders killed and dismembered him in what Rapporteur Callamard called a “deliberate, premeditated execution.”

During the 40th session of the Council in March 2019, the Council formally adopted Saudi Arabia’s UPR report. Only a month later, in April, the government executed 37 men for alleged terrorist crimes. Among the 37 men executed were Munir al-Adam, a disabled man; Abbas al-Hassan, a father of four who was charged with “espionage” and “spreading the Shia faith”; and Mujtaba al-Sweikat, Salman Qureish, and Abdulkarim al-Hawaj – who were minors at the time of the alleged offense. These men, along with many others, were tortured, coerced into confessing, and denied access to legal counsel.

The UPR mechanism, by which states receive recommendations to improve their human rights record, is an important part of this Council, but it only works if states seriously act to implement those recommendations. We call upon Saudi Arabia to implement all of its UPR recommendations, including halting all executions.

Thank you.