Amnesty welcomes Australian Government leadership in global condemnation of Saudi Arabia’s human rights

Amnesty International Australia today welcomed Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne leading the joint Human Rights Council statement condemning its persecution and intimidation of human rights defenders, women’s rights activists, journalists and dissidents.

“As Amnesty International has been advocating, Australia led the global statement urging Saudi Arabia to allow the UN investigators to visit in order to establish truth and accountability into Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, and condemning ongoing human rights abuses still prevalent in the kingdom,” said Amnesty International Australia campaigner Rose Kulak.

“While there have been positive movements in women’s freedoms such as being granted the right to drive, and the right to obtain a passport, activists who have been leading the changed from within Saudi Arabia remain behind bars.”

“Saudi Arabia is consistently in the top five executing countries each year. Torture, unfair trials and arbitrary detention remain on the public record. We are pleased Australia is using its voice on the Human Rights Council to draw attention to these human rights violations,” Kulak said.

Next week marks the first anniversary of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Instanbul.

The joint statement, delivered at the 42nd Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, was signed by 24 states including the UK, Canada, Germany and New Zealand.