Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Campaign

by | Jun 9, 2015


When thinking about the protection of human rights, Saudi Arabia doesn’t immediately come to mind. After all, this year the Saudis are on course to break their own record of 87 decapitations in 2014. It is only June and the Saudi leaders have already chopped off their 84th head. Religious apostasy is a leading offense resulting in decapitation and last year half of all such killings were carried out for non-lethal offenses. According to a news report last year, bringing Christian bibles into the country is considered a capital offense.

In addition, it is illegal to build a Christian church in Saudi Arabia.

That is why it seems so strange that Saudi Arabia last week hosted an international conference “on combating religious discrimination” backed by the United Nations and attended by the president of the UN Human Rights Council. Saudi Arabia, considered one of the planet’s worst human rights abusers, is a member of the UN Human Rights Council and will take over as chair of the Council next year.

Saudi Arabia’s unique view of human rights extends beyond its borders as well. For the past three months Saudi Arabia has been bombing neighboring Yemen in retaliation for the overthrow of the Saudi-favored Yemeni leader. Yemen did not attack or commit aggression against Saudi Arabia, but thus far Saudi bombs have killed thousands of innocent Yemeni citizens. Just this week one raid killed more than 40 civilians, including women and children.

In Syria, Saudi Arabia has likely spent billions financing terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, Jabhat al-Nusra — and even ISIS.

How ironic that a US government that seems to go out of its way to see the splinter in the eye of other nations seems to consistently turn a blind eye to the log in the eye of the Saudi royals (and in our own too, it must be said).

Of course this is not to say that the United States should attack or even sanction Saudi Arabia. But should we promise to defend them? Just last month President Obama pledged that he would use the US military to defend Saudi Arabia and the other US “allies” in the Gulf.

Said the president:

The United States will stand by our GCC partners against external attack and will deepen and extend the cooperation that we have when it comes to the many challenges that exist in the region.

It is all about shared values and human rights.


  • Daniel McAdams

    Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and co-Producer/co-Host, Ron Paul Liberty Report. Daniel served as the foreign affairs, civil liberties, and defense/intel policy advisor to U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, MD (R-Texas) from 2001 until Dr. Paul’s retirement at the end of 2012. From 1993-1999 he worked as a journalist based in Budapest, Hungary, and traveled through the former communist bloc as a human rights monitor and election observer.

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