Six years ago, United Nations members gave Saudi Arabia 258 recommendations on how they could improve respect for human rights in the 2018 Universal Periodic Review (UPR). In that time, Saudi Arabia has made little to no progress in implementing the recommendations it accepted in 2018 – particularly concerning its use of torture and the death penalty.
Ahead of the next UPR cycle, we teamed up with the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (ESOHR), MENA Rights Group, ECPM (Together Against the Death Penalty), The Freedom Initiative and ALQST for Human Rights, to submit a stakeholder report to the UN evidencing these failings. You can read it here.
Back in 2018, Saudi Arabia accepted 199 of the 258 recommendations given by the UN’s UPR.
Some of the recommendations Saudi Arabia accepted include:
· Becoming a party to human rights treaties;
· Restricting the use of the death penalty to the most serious crimes;
· Abolishing the death penalty for child defendants; and
· Guaranteeing fair trial rights for people facing death sentences.
But despite promises to abolish the death penalty for child defendants and for non-lethal offences, Saudi Arabia is still using the death penalty liberally.
Our client, Hussein abo al-Kheir, was executed in March 2023 for drug related offences.
Our clients, Abdullah al-Howaiti, Abdullah al-Derazi and Youssef al-Manasif, who are all child defendants, are all still at risk of execution.
Saudi Arabia has a long way to go to improve human rights in the country. Reprieve calls on all States to recommend that Saudi Arabia immediately establish a moratorium on the use of the death penalty with a view to its complete abolishment.
You can read the submission in full here.