How Did The Country That Beheads And Crucifies Protesters Win A Place On The U.N Human Rights Council?

The Saudi Ambassador to the United Nations, Abdallah Y Al-Mouallimi, spoke to BBC current affairs program Newsnight this week in an attempt to justify the country’s horrendous human rights record.

The Arabic nation is currently planning to behead and then publicly crucify a 21-year old protester, who was a child at the time of his alleged ‘crime.’ As if that weren’t horrific enough, consider this gross hypocrisy: Saudi Arabia sits on the United Nations’ Human Rights Council- and as the interview demonstrates, many of the votes that allowed this to happen came from it’s “friends in the West.” That’s our leaders, folks.

Anchor Emily Maitland is visibly angry as she tells Al-Mouallimi: “The world is looking at you with outrage right now.” Her interviewee refuses to discuss the tragic case in question, relating to a young man named Ali Mohammed Baqir al-Nimr who faces a cruel and inhumane death. He was just 17 when he was arrested for taking part in a demonstration. Ali was allegedly tortured into a confession, and convicted in an unfair trial which ended in him being condemned to a medieval-style death. Every appeal has been denied, and Amnesty International’s campaign to stop the execution has so far been unsuccessful. 

Between August 2014 and June 2015 at least 175 people were put to death in Saudi Arabia – that’s an average rate of one person every two days. Juveniles, the mentally ill and drug users are among those routinely executed. Most executions in Saudi Arabia are carried out by beheading, or in some cases by firing squad. In certain cases executions are carried out in public, and the dead bodies and severed heads are put on display afterwards. The government are planning on crucifying Ali for all to see, to serve as a warning to anyone else who might think about fighting for justice.

Maitland reminds viewers that the UN Human Rights Council members are expected to “uphold the highest standards in the protection of human rights,” and insinuates quite rightly that Saudi Arabia has absolutely no right to be on the panel.

Al-Mouallimi refuses to discuss individual cases and defends his country’s right to use Shariah law. As for winning a seat on the UN Human Rights Council despite having no respect for human rights, the politician tells Maitland that Saudi Arabia received “an overwhelming number of votes” in what he refers to as a “reciprocal support agreement”. To me and you, that means the undemocratic and entirely corrupt practice of trading votes for favors. Outrageously, Al-Mouallimi defends this despicable state of affairs by pointing out it’s “nothing unusual in the United Nations.”

It seems that Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters was absolutely correct when he claimed that this “horse-trading” (swapping votes for weapons or loans, for example) is destroying the credibility of the United Nations and making the world a more dangerous place.

Please join the urgent campaign to save Ali’s life by clicking here.

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