Today, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) delivered an oral intervention at the 42nd Session of the Human Rights Council during the General Debate under Item 5. ADHRB raised concerns about Saudi Arabia’s membership to the Council, highlighting its continuous disregard for human rights.
Click here for the PDF format and find below the oral statement.
We would like to draw the Council’s attention to the numerous human rights abuses committed by Saudi Arabia, a Member of this Council and to raise concerns about lack of respect for Membership criteria.
Since Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman became Crown Prince in 2017, Saudi Arabia has increasingly worked to silence dissent nationally and internationally furthering efforts to deepen the atmosphere of fear and repression even among Saudis living outside the kingdom.
For example, Saudi Arabia has detained, tortured, and sexually abused a number of women’s rights activists because the women simply asked for equality and the right to drive. But perhaps most significantly, government agents under orders from bin Salman murdered dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey late last year.
Saudi Arabia has continued to use capital punishment, executing 139 people in 2018, and 37 men in one day in April 2019. It has also continued to pursue its war in Yemen, where it is has committed numerous violations of international humanitarian law and war crimes, and where its attacks on civilian infrastructure has strained the country’s ability to handle a humanitarian crisis affecting millions.
These abuses paint a picture of a state with complete disregard for human rights. Surely this is the not the attitude we want Member States to have, especially when they are attempting to address global crises. We urge the Council to strengthen membership standards in order to ensure that Members fully respect international human rights standards.