If you were trying to put together a global all-star team of the most authoritarian, human rights abusing nations on earth, not only would Saudi Arabia be at the top of the list, it would be captain of the squad.
In a move as embarrassing, laughable and tragic as Barack Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize just as he was about to embark upon several overseas wars and drone countless civilians to death without due process, the United Nations has, remarkably, named Saudi Arabia head of it’s human rights panel.
Of course, this is something I warned of back in May in the post, Saudi Arabia is Making a Play to Head the U.N. Human Rights Council. Here are a few excerpts:
Saudi Arabia is making a bid to head the United Nations’ Human Rights Council (HRC) just days after it posted a slew of new job openings for executioners who would help carry out beheadings amid a massive uptick in state-sanctioned killings in the country.
U.N. Watch, a nonprofit group that monitors the international body, disclosed Saudi Arabia’s intentions in a recent report and urged the United States to fight against it, describing the move as “the final nail in the coffin for the credibility” of the HRC.
Neuer compared the possible ascension of Saudi Arabia to the top slot to electing “a pyromaniac as the town fire chief.”
All hail the pyromaniac in chief. From the Independent:
The United Nations has been criticised for handing Saudi Arabia a key human rights role – despite the country having “arguably the worst record in the world” on freedoms for women, minorities and dissidents.
Critics, including the wife of imprisoned pro-democracy blogger Raif Badawi – sentenced to 1,000 lashes for blogging about free speech – labelled the appointment “scandalous”, saying it meant “oil trumps human rights”.
UN Watch, an independent campaigning NGO, revealed Mr Trad, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador at the UN in Geneva, was elected as chair of a panel of independent experts on the UN Human Rights Council.
As head of a five-strong group of diplomats, the influential role would give Mr Trad the power to select applicants from around the world for scores of expert roles in countries where the UN has a mandate on human rights.
Such experts are often described as the ‘crown jewels’ of the HRC, according to UN Watch, which has obtained official UN documents, dated 17 September, confirming the appointment.
The Saudis’ bid emerged shortly after it posted a job advertisement for eight new executioners, to cope with what Amnesty International branded a “macabre spike” in the use of capital punishment, including beheadings, this year.
“Saudi Arabia has arguably the worst record in the world when it comes to religious freedom and women’s rights, and continues to imprison the innocent blogger Raif Badawi,” he said.
Of course, the Saudis seem to get away with everything. Including a key role in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. See:
Meanwhile, this is merely the latest embarrassment for the UN. Recall the post from earlier this month:
Finally, for several articles highlighting egregious Saudi human rights abuses, see: