Wednesday 14 October 2020 - 11:05

Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Record Fails Its Bid to Join UNHR Council

Story Code : 892009
Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Record Fails Its Bid to Join UNHR Council
Human rights groups hailed the snub against Riyadh, which deals a blow to the kingdom's attempts to improve its image in the international community.

“The #HRC elections today delivered a stunning rebuke to #SaudiArabia under Mohammed bin Salman,” tweeted Bruno Stagno, a deputy executive director at Human Rights Watch, referring to the country's crown prince.

"Only country not elected, shunned by a majority of the UN. The kingdom reaped what it deserves for its serious violations of human rights and war crimes abroad," he added.

Fifteen positions were up for grabs on the 47-seat body that has been criticized by rights organizations and the United States for electing countries accused of gross human rights violations.

"Unless Saudi Arabia undertakes dramatic reforms to release political prisoners, end its disastrous war in Yemen and allow its citizens meaningful political participation, it will remain a global pariah," said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Democracy for the Arab World Now, which hailed the result.

The organization she represents was founded by Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed by Saudi agents at country's Istanbul consulate two years ago.

Russia and Cuba were among 11 countries elected unopposed. All 193 UN members were able to vote in each region.