Islam World

UN experts slam Riyadh for erasing ‘cultural heritage’ in Shia town

United Nations experts have slammed Riyadh over razing an old part of a Shia Muslim-majority town in eastern Saudi Arabia, saying the move has erased cultural heritage and violated human rights.

 

United Nations experts have slammed Riyadh over razing an old part of a Shia Muslim-majority town in eastern Saudi Arabia, saying the move has erased cultural heritage and violated human rights.

Karima Bennoune, the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, said on Wednesday that Saudi authorities had moved ahead with razing old Awamiyah, known as al-Musawara, despite repeated calls by the United Nations to halt the demolition.

According to a statement issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bennoune accused Saudi security forces of “irreparably burning down” historic buildings and forcing residents to flee their homes.

“These destructions erase the traces of this historic and lived cultural heritage and are clear violations of Saudi Arabia’s obligations under international human rights law,” the UN official said.

Some buildings in the area are more than 400 years old.

 

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