Despite widespread recognition of Saudi Arabia’s abysmal record on the rights of women, religious freedom, and political liberties, the country is poised to win a seat on the Human Rights Council in elections scheduled for Nov. 12th by the UN General Assembly.
UN Watch Out of the 102 countries taking the floor today, more than 80 of them praised Saudi Arabia. As the UN Human Rights Council scrutinized Saudi Arabia’s domestic rights record this morning, a minority of democracies such as Canada, UK, and the Czech Republic raised concerns, while the vast majority of countries lined up to defend and praise one of the world’s most repressive theocratic regimes.
Saudi Arabia is a country whose legal system routinely lashes women rape victims rather than punish the perpetrators; it should not have been praised effusively by members of the UN’s top human rights body.
Instead, the world should have used the opportunity to address the Saudi regime’s cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments, such as flogging, amputations and eye-gouging. These and other abuses were amply documented in written submissions to the UN by Amnesty International and other NGOs.
No one challenged the Saudi regime on the 53 Christians who were arrested this year by religious police for the crime of praying in a private home, nor did anyone ask the Saudis why homosexuality is a crime punishable by public beheadings.
“A country whose legal system routinely lashes women rape victims rather than punish the perpetrators should not have been praised effusively by members of the UN’s top human rights body,” said Neuer. “Instead the world should have addressed the Saudi regime’s use of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments, such as flogging, amputations and eye-gouging.”
UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL’S PRAISE FOR
SAUDI ARABIA’S HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD
Turkey: “We commend Saudi Arabia for the significant rise of women in civil service”
Tunisia: “We commend Saudi Arabia for efforts to adapt its laws with international human rights conventions…”
Palestine: “We take notice of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to protect and promote human rights…”
Somalia: “Saudi Arabia maintains a high priority for protection and promotion of human rights…”
Pakistan: Commended “laudable steps taken by Saudi Arabia to promote and protect the rights of children and women…”
Nicaragua: “We note Saudi Arabia’s progress in rights of the child, trafficking of persons, and legislative change for women’s rights…”
Mauritania, VP of the UNHRC (and a country that practices slavery): “We commend Saudi Arabia for always seeking to strengthen human rights…We commend Saudi Arabia in terms of the progress on guaranteeing fundamental rights and freedoms, socioeconomic progress, participation of women at all levels and participation in society. We hope to see greater prosperity and progress for Saudi Arabia.”
Maldives: “We commend Saudi Arabia’s improvement on the situation of women.”
Libya: “Saudi Arabia continues to strengthen human rights and promote them and this deserves our appreciation…”
Egypt: “We commend Saudi Arabia’s progress to protect and promote human rights, and welcome work done to strengthen role of women…”
France: “We commend Saudi Arabia with its progress in the role of women in society…”
Denmark: “We commend #SaudiArabia’s progress in the promotion of rights for women in recent years…”
Cuba: “We commend Saudi Arabia for the implementation of recommendations made in the first cycle. Many areas of positive results: education, health…”
China: “We appreciate efforts made to protect the rights of children and to have dialogues of religious tolerance…”
Cambodia: “We take note of progress in human employment, education, and social security…”
Afghanistan: “We commend Saudia Arabia as they continue to enhance the protection and promotion of human rights…”
Vietnam: “Commend Saudi Arabia’s efforts in combating human trafficking and discrimination; these are encouraging…”
Venezuela: “Enrollment in primary education has reached 96.6%. We congratulate Saudi Arabia…”
Partial list of Saudi Arabia’s idea of human rights:
Maid ends life in Saudi Arabia