Wednesday, 16 Oct 2019

HRW: UN member states must demand release of women human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia

States should take a clear stand against human rights violations in Saudi Arabia by joining a UN Human Rights Council statement addressing the government's crackdown on peaceful activists, including a group of detained women human rights defenders known to have been tortured and sexually abused, said Amnesty International.

The crucial statement, due to be delivered at a Human Rights Council session on Thursday, is expected to address Saudi Arabia's use of counter-terrorism legislation to persecute people peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly, and the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

"This initiative at the UN Human Rights Council offers a rare opportunity for states to take a strong public stand against the catalogue of human rights violations by the government of Saudi Arabia. States who stay silent risk abdicating responsibility at a crucial moment and sending a dangerous message that Saudi Arabia can continue to commit egregious abuses without being held to account," said Heba Morayef, Amnesty International's Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

States, including key allies of Saudi Arabia, must use the joint statement to demand the immediate and unconditional release of the group of detained women human rights defenders and all others who have been detained solely for their criticism of the government.

Source: National News Agency

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