Research

HRC45: Jointly reiterate calls on Saudi Arabia to release human rights defenders and address key benchmarks for human rights reform

Index Number: MDE 23/2960/2020

Dear Minister,
We are writing to urge that your government support joint action at the upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council session to hold Saudi Arabia to its international human rights obligations. We appreciate your commitment to supporting Saudi women’s rights defenders and to the improvement of the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia. Your government’s support to the joint statements delivered by Iceland and/or Australia at the Council in 2019 has contributed to direct impact on the ground. At least seven women human rights defenders have been provisionally released and the Saudi government has taken initial steps towards dismantling the male guardianship system.
However, since the last joint statement in September 2019, the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia has further deteriorated and we documented and reported several new cases of serious rights violations. We highlight below how the benchmarks set out in the joint statements that the Saudi government should fulfil to address the grave human rights concerns raised at the Council, have not been met to this date and therefore warrant further Council action.

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