GENEVA, Jan. 9, 2015 – The U.S., France, Germany and the UK should lead a United Nations effort to finally expel Saudi Arabia from the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council after the fundamentalist regime publicly flogged blogger Raif Badawi today for “insulting Islam,” said Geneva-based rights group UN Watch.
In addition to 10 years in jail, Badawi was sentenced to receive 50 lashes every week for 20 weeks, for a total of 1,000 lashes. His crime was creating a liberal blog.
“By keeping Saudi Arabia in this lofty position, where the Saudis can judge others and influence the very definition of basic human rights, the UN shields this tyranny, granting legitimacy to a repressive and brutal monarchy that tramples freedom of speech, religious freedom and the equality of women,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.
Article 8 of UNGA Resolution 60/251 provides that Council members who commit gross and systematic violations of human rights can be removed. “Saudi Arabia is such a state, and it should be removed immediately,” said Neuer.
“We look to the major democracies to show moral leadership and to defend the integrity of the United Nations and the cause of human rights.”