Over 160 Groups Call for Suspending Saudi Arabia from UNHRC Following Journalist Murder & Widespread Arrests of Activists
2018-10-27 - 3:52 am
Bahrain Mirror: At least 160 civil society organizations called for suspending Saudi Arabia's membership in the Human Rights Council and launch an independent investigation into the murder of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In a joint statement, the rights groups called on the international community, including the United Nations, multilateral and regional institutions as well as democratic governments committed to the freedom of expression, to take immediate steps to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for grave human rights violations, and not allow impunity to prevail.
They demanded convening a Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on the recent wave of arrests and attacks against journalists, human rights defenders and other dissenting voices in Saudi Arabia.
The organizations stressed that Saudi journalist Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi's murder in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on 02 October is only one of many gross and systematic violations committed by the Saudi authorities inside and outside the country. "As the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists approaches on 2 November, we strongly echo calls for an independent investigation into Khashoggi's murder, in order to hold those responsible to account."
The statement further said that this case, coupled with the rampant arrests of human rights defenders, including journalists, scholars and women's rights activists; the potential imposition of the death penalty on demonstrators; and the findings of the UN Group of Eminent Experts report which concluded that the Coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, have committed acts that may amount to international crimes in Yemen, all demonstrate Saudi Arabia's record of gross and systematic human rights violations.
The 160 organisations further urged the UN General Assembly to suspend Saudi Arabia from the UN HRC, in accordance with operative paragraph 8 of the General Assembly resolution 60/251.
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