Saudi chair of UNHRC panel vetted experts on women’s rights, arbitrary detention, independence of judges

trad in kefiyeh
UN Watch is outraged that the UN Human Rights Council chose Saudi Arabia, despite its abysmal record, to play a key role in picking the world body’s global human rights monitors on violence against women, arbitrary detention and the independence of judges. For our full statement, click here.
Ambassador Faisal bin Hassan Trad of Saudi Arabia, as Chairperson of the UN Human Rights Council’s consultative group of five diplomats (one from each UN regional group), was responsible for interviewing and short-listing candidates for the following positions:
– UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women
– Member of UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
– UN Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges
– UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy
– Member of UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances
(Appointed on July 3, 2015)
– UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights
– Member of Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent
– Member of Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
(To be appointed on October 2, 2015)
How Membership on Consultative Group Can Be Abused
HouriaEsSlamiHouria Es-Slami, appointed UN expert in 2014
The Saudi government could also gain additional influence. Certain members of the powerful consultative group have in the past used their positions to unfairly privilege their preferred candidates.
Most famously, Morocco’s ambassador in 2014, according to a leaked cable, faxed to his ministry a confidential document outlining the entire interview procedure and questions that Houria Es-Slami, a candidate from Morocco, would be asked.
Coincidentally, we are certain, Ms. Es-Slami then succeeded in obtaining the consultative group’s top ranking, and now sits on the UN working group on disappearances.
Amnesty International later filed a complaint after the episode was leaked, and the president acknowledged the integrity challenge.

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