At a time when Saudi Arabia has initiated an ambitious economic and social transformation, a delegation from the Subcommittee on Human Rights concluded its first mission to the country.

The four-Member DROI delegation visited the country together with the European Parliament’s delegation for Relations with the Arab Peninsula (29 October-31 October) and was composed of Cristian Dan Preda (EPP, RO), Beatriz Becerra (ALDE, ES), Josef Weidenholzer (S&D, AT) and Lars Adaktusson (EPP, SE).

 

The chair of the DROI delegation welcomed the constructive and open dialogue held with the Assistant Chairman as well as the bilateral Friendship and Human Rights committees of the Shura Council, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Labour, the deputy Minister of Justice, the Human Rights Commission, the Human Rights Society, the King Abdul-Aziz Center for National Dialogue, the MISK Foundation and Saudi youth.

 

The discussions covered all the relevant issues, namely the death penalty including for juveniles, freedom of expression and religion for all Saudi citizens and residents irrespective of their creed and faith, the situation of women, in particular the guardianship system, the situation of migrant workers, regional security risks, especially in Yemen and Syria and the fight against radicalisation and extremism. 

 

The DROI delegation reiterated its call for the release of Sakharov laureate Raif Badawi and other human rights defenders. 

 

The DROI delegation looks forward to continuing the open dialogue with Saudi authorities on the implementation of their human rights commitments. 

 

Against this background, it is all the more important that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's vision of Saudi Arabia as a country of moderate Islam be effectively implemented in line with universal standards.