EP: Riyadh must stop harassment of human rights defenders
Tehran, The European Parliament in a resolution passed Thursday evening called on Saudi Arabia to stop its frequent harassment and prosecution of human rights defenders particularly women in that country.
According to the website of Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) urged Saudi Authorities to ensure respect of human rights for all prisoners in that country.
It said the crackdown on women's rights activists, just weeks before a much-hyped lifting of driving ban on women has revived doubts about Prince Mohammed's approach to reforms in the kingdom.
MEPs urge Saudi Arabia to stop any form of harassment and prosecution of human rights defenders, and particularly women's rights defenders, after the arrest of seven women and four men since 15 May 2018.
They remind Saudi Arabian authorities that the treatment of all prisoners must adhere to the standards set by the UN General Assembly and urge them to revise the Anti-Terrorist Law, the Anti-Cybercrime Law and the Press and Publications Law, which are repeatedly used to prosecute human rights defenders.
The resolution called on Saudi Arabia to adopt comprehensive legislation to tackle the widespread gender-based violence against women, to remove all obstacles to women's access to justice and to take the necessary steps to ensure the protection and the enhancement of women's rights, such as ending child marriages and forced marriages. Women activists should also be allowed to organize themselves and work without fear of repercussions, MEPs said.
Elizabeth Throssell, spokeswomen for the UN human rights office said recently 'Six women and three men are known to remain in custody facing very serious allegations that could lead to draconian sentences.'
Saudi Arabian security forces detained the rights activists on the first day of the fasting month Ramadan on charges of breaching religious and national principles and values.
The Saudi king ordered the establishment of an anti-corruption committee on November 4, 2017, chaired by his son Prince Mohammed Bin Salman which led to the arrest of scores of Saudi princes and ministers, a move human rights organizations believed to be aimed at omitting Prince Salman's rivals.
Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA