HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL 42

TAKE ACTION

On 23 September, Australia led 23 members states in a joint statement at the 42nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council calling for an end to impunity of Saudi Arabia in their continuous human rights violations. The statement comes on the backdrop of a statement led by Iceland during the 41st Session onto which 36 member states signed on. Despite initial momentum at the UNHRC calling for greater accountability for human rights violations in Saudi Arabia, this week several countries who previously signed the statement did not renew their commitment during the 42nd session. On the backdrop of increasing restrictions in Saudi Arabia, including the continued detainment and harassment of activists, and mass executions, the crisis continues. 

Regardless – Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Switzerland have chosen to not sign onto the statement calling for an end to the continued human rights violations in Saudi Arabia.  

The Free Saudi Women Coalition has been campaigning for the release of women human rights defenders who actively campaigned for an end to the male guardianship system and the right to drive. This campaign has included a Change.org petition with over 250,000 signatures calling on the United Nations to demand the immediate and unconditional release of all activists being detained.

Despite women in the Kingdom now having the right to drive and revisions to the guardianship system, defenders who have been at the forefront of this call continue to face imprisonment, harassment and reprisals for their advocacy. On the backdrop of waning international pressure, Saudi Arabia continues to act in impunity even within the Human Rights Council.

The Coalition applauds Australia’s leadership in delivering this statement, but now look to other countries to do the same. Now more than ever, we need member states and governments to take action and look to you to ensure that your governments act to end impunity in Saudi Arabia. Take action now and click on the link to your country’s advocacy profile to learn more about how to take action.

Take action now and click on the link to your country’s advocacy profile to learn more about how to take action.

The Free Saudi Women Coalition has been actively advocating for the release of Saudi WHRDs since early 2018. It is comprised of: Women’s March Global, CIVICUS, ISHR, WHRD-MENA, Gulf Centre for Human Rights, ADHRB and Equality Now.