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Parliamentary questions
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24 August 2018
Question for written answer E-004336-18
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 130
Ángela Vallina (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  VP/HR — The death penalty in Saudi Arabia: the EU is failing to act and the life of imprisoned activist Israa al-Ghomgham hangs in the balance
 Answer in writing 

According to various sources, the Saudi activist Israa al-Ghomgham — who has been imprisoned for three years for taking part in peaceful human rights demonstrations in Qatif — had been beheaded. It is thought that dozens of people have been executed this year. Fortunately, however, Israa al-Ghomgham’s family has confirmed she has not been executed, but is awaiting sentencing. The prosecution is calling for execution by beheading.

Despite its stated opposition to the death penalty and its commitment to human rights, the European Union maintains close political and trade ties with Saudi Arabia. The regime is the leading purchaser of arms sold by EU Member States, in particular France, the UK, Spain and Belgium.

Is the VP/HR aware that human rights defender Israa al-Ghomgham’s life is in grave danger?

Has the EU taken — or will it be taking — any specific, effective action to urge Saudi Arabia to abolish the death penalty, such as by imposing an embargo on the sale of arms to the country, as the European Parliament has called for?

What action is the EEAS taking in response to Parliament’s resolution of 31 May 2018 on the situation of women’s rights defenders in Saudi Arabia?

Original language of question: ES 
Last updated: 3 September 2018Legal notice