"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

Friday, May 22, 2015

Saudi Arabia trying to win UN Human Rights Council presidency

In a move that will definitely drill the "final nail in the coffin for credibility" for the United Nations' Human Rights Council, Saudi Arabia is set to make a bid to head the HRC.

The news surfaced after the United Nations Watch that overlooks the HRC pushed the United States to prevent the nation that recently advertised for 8 new executioners to not be awarded the title.

"We urge US Ambassador Samantha Power and EU foreign minister Federica Mogherini to denounce this despicable act of cynicism by a regime that beheads people in the town square, systematically oppresses women, Christians, and gays, and jails innocent bloggers like Raif Badawi for the crime of challenging the rulers' radical brand of Wahabbist Islam," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, reported The Independent.

"Electing Saudi Arabia as the world's judge on human rights would be like making a pyromaniac as the town fire chief."

Currently, Germany is heading the HRC but when its term ends in 2016, the new presidency will be announced.

According to a UN official, the presidency will be determined by elections in December 2015.

Saudi Arabia was elected a member of the HRC in 2013 - a move that drew heavy criticism from human rights campaigners worldwide.

Saudi Arabia carried out its 84th execution in 2015 on 18 May despite calls from Amnesty International to bring to a halt the "macabre spike" in the country's executions.

"This unprecedented spike in executions constitutes a chilling race to the bottom for a country that is already among the most prolific executioners on the planet," said Said Boumedouha, the deputy director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme.

"If this alarming execution rate continues, Saudi Arabia is well on track to surpass its previous records, putting it out of step with the vast majority of countries around the world that have now rejected the death penalty in law or practice."

Oil-rich kingdom wants to recruit executioners

In 2014, an estimated 87 executions were carried out by the Kingdom, which is a stark reminder of the alarming rate with which executions are being carried out in 2015.

The Kingdom recently advertised for more executioners to behead convicted prisoners with the job description suggesting the appointees should be able to perform amputations as well.

Crimes that can result in the death penalty in the Kingdom, include adultery, armed robbery, blasphemy, drug trafficking, murder, homosexuality and rape to name a few.

Source: International Business Times, May 22, 2015

Related article and video:
Saudi Arabia executes Burmese woman; secret filming reveals medieval, barbaric punishment, Gulf News, January 12, 2015

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