Saudi Arabia should be dropped from UN Human Rights Council, say British lawyers


A campaign to remove Saudi Arabia from the UN Human Rights Council has been launched by a group of British lawyers, who argue the desert kingdom’s membership of the body is “contradictory and ironic”.

Saudi Arabia, whose seat on the council expires in 2019, has faced international condemnation for its role in the Yemen conflict.

It is also condemned for crackdowns on political dissidents especially the Shia rights campaigners in the eastern region of Qatif.

In a report, London-based lawyers Rodney Dixon QC and Lord Kenneth Donald John Macdonald said suspending Saudi Arabia from the body would “act as a major lever for the government to clean up their act and make a proper new start”.

They raised the plight of 60 political activists and peace campaigners who the human rights lawyers said were detained in September last year.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Mr Dixon said it was "completely contradictory and ironic for a government with systemic patterns of abuse - as we have highlighted in the report - to be sitting on the council, and in fact previously to have chaired the council”.


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