Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

After Beheading 100 People This Year, Saudi Arabia Joins U.N. Human Rights Council With U.S. Support

This is beyond pathetic.

By Justin Salhani

Think Progress

President Barack Obama, right, meets with King Salman of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office of the White House, on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, in Washington.

The State Department has welcomed news that Saudi Arabia will head a U.N. Human Rights Council panel. Criticism has regularly been levelled at Saudi Arabia by human rights groups due to perennial human rights violations.

Saudi Arabia beheaded over 100 people this year through June. That’s already more than they beheaded in the entirety of 2014. The regime there is also known for its use of floggings and implementation of the death penalty against people convicted as minors. A group of U.N. experts called on Saudi Arabia as recently as this week to spare the nephew of a prominent Shia cleric from beheading and crucifixion. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia is regularly the target of international rights groups’ critiques due to their complete disregard for international human rights standards on free speech, freedom of religion, and a plethora of other violations.

“Saudi Arabia … systematically discriminates against Muslim religious minorities, notably Twelver Shia and Ismailis,” a Human Rights Watch (HRW) 2015 report on Saudi Arabia reads. This development has been widely denounced by figures who see the appointment as a way for Saudi Arabia to justify their current practices.

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