The move by members of the United Nations General Assembly to reelect Saudi Arabia to represent the region on the UN Human Rights Commission has raised many eyebrows, and has shocked global rights advocates and organizations that hardly think to remove the repressive regime from their blacklists.
Saudi Arabia, as the leader of the nine-nation coalition that launched a brutal military onslaught against the Yemeni people on March 26, 2015, for the next three years is expected to be in charge of reporting human rights abuses and war crimes in the region.
This comes while the regime, already well-known for its domestic rights violations, now is in the crosshairs of human rights advocates and organizations for its crimes in the neighboring country, Yemen.
British Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron speaking to The Independent described London's support for Saudi Arabia to occupy the UNHRC seat as “appalling'.
'Saudi Arabia in particular consistently disregard not only the rights of their own citizens, but have also been involved in serious violations of International Humanitarian Law in Yemen,' Farron said.
Earlier in October, the Saudi-led coalition bombed a funeral in Yemen killing 140 people and leaving injured 600 more.
Riyadh admitted the responsibility for the bloody attack on civilians, but blamed it on the “wrong information”.
According to the United Nations, the brutal Saudi-led war in Yemen has killed more than 10,000 and displaced more than three million people. The country is already on the brink of famine, and homes, markets, hospitals, schools, civilian businesses, and mosques across the war-torn nation, after all, are still being showered with the Saudi rockets and even internationally banned cluster bombs.
And the UN General Assembly member states that opted to reelect Riyadh presumably to take care of regional abuses of human rights and war crimes, hope for the gruesome Saudi regime to address the humanitarian issues in the region.
“As the Human Rights Council commemorates its tenth anniversary, it should be recommitting to accountability, not allowing countries that commit gross and systematic abuses to remain members,” says Philippe Bolopion, Deputy Director for global advocacy at Human Rights Watch.
“The General Assembly’s failure to suspend Saudi Arabia could seriously harm the rights council’s credibility,” Bolopoin says.
Saudi Arabia joined the Human Rights Council in January 2014. However, Riyadh never abandoned its crackdown on all forms of dissent at home; executions are being carried out unabated, women in the country are still denied basic rights, and the Saudi Shia minority community remains to be oppressed by the regime.
Now it seems the Saudi regime is trying to spread its suppressive practices in the region by relying Western weapons its petrodollars could buy.