Monday, August 06, 2018

Saudi Arabia - Getting a free pass on human rights

 The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said at least 15 human rights defenders and women's rights activists critical of the Saudi government had been arrested or detained arbitrarily since 15 May. Eight of them are believed to have been released pending "procedural reviews", but the whereabouts of several others are unknown. Several of those detained have been accused of serious crimes, including "suspicious contact with foreign parties", and could face up to 20 years in prison.
It was only a few months ago that the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was being praised as a liberal and a reformer, after all, couldn't women in the country now drive cars and attend sporting events. 
However, when Canada expressed criticism of the arrests of female campaigners, the Saudi regime retaliated by freezing all new trade with Canada, expelling its ambassador as person non grata, ceasing scholarship exchanges and cancelling direct flights to Canada.
We wait to hear from those counties that have very much more trade transactions with the Saudi kingdom such as the UK and USA whether they too shall voice any disapproval of Saudi Arabian repression of female civil right advocates.

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