Fury after Saudi Arabia ‚chosen to head key UN human rights panel‘


Wife of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi says move amounts to „a green light to flog him“ Image: independent.co.uk
The United Nations has been criticised for handing Saudi Arabia a key human rights role – despite the country having “arguably the worst record in the world” on freedoms for women, minorities and dissidents.

By Tom Brooks-Pollock|THE INDEPENDENT

Critics, including the wife of imprisoned pro-democracy blogger Raif Badawi – sentenced to 1,000 lashes for blogging about free speech – labelled the appointment “scandalous”, saying it meant “oil trumps human rights”.

Mr Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, who is leading an international campaign to free her husband, said on Facebook that handing the role to Faisal bin Hassan Trad, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador at the UN in Geneva, was effectively “a green light to start flogging [him] again”.

UN Watch, an independent campaigning NGO, revealed Mr Trad, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador at the UN in Geneva, was elected as chair of a panel of independent experts on the UN Human Rights Council.

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