Culture of Impunity and arrest of Women Human Rights Defenders in Saudi Arabia

On 25 September 2020, ADHRB has delivered an oral intervention at the United Nation Human Rights Council session 45 during on interactive debate under item 4.


Madame President,

IDO would like to raise its deep concern over the harsh repression of fundamental liberties and the widespread culture of impunity that are rampant in Saudi Arabia.

In May 2018, the Saudi authorities arrested a number of women’s rights activists, marking the beginning of a brutal crackdown on the women’s rights movement in Saudi Arabia. Being held incommunicado, with no access to family or lawyers, many activists alleged suffering mental and physical distress, including torture, sexual abuse, long spells in solitary confinement and other forms of ill-treatment. However, no perpetrators have been held accountable and five women human rights activists remain in detention to this date.

The underlying pattern of systematic repression and abuse continue unabated in Saudi Arabia and is not going to improve unless accountability for human rights violators is ensured.

The Saudi blatant culture of impunity is eloquently represented by the case of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. Despite the government’s claims, the Saudi judiciary continues to carry out what the UN Special Rapporteur Ms. Callamard recently defined as a complete ‘parody of justice’, with verdicts being neither fair, nor just, or transparent