Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Archive for November 13th, 2018

ALDE Resolution on Saudi Arabia

Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 13th November, 2018

This is the text of the Saudi Arabia resolution, drafted by Prof. Paul Reynolds, which I successfully moved on behalf of the UK Liberal Democrats at the ALDE Party Congress in Madrid at the weekend:

Jamal Khashoggi

On Saudi Arabia

The Congress of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)
Party convening in Madrid, Spain, on 8-10 of November 2018:
Having regard to:
• the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the 1966
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the UN Convention
against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment; the Arab Charter on Human Rights, ratified by Saudi
Arabia in 2009.
Whereas:
• the continuing air attacks by Saudi Arabia that included the use of
banned cluster munitions and apparently unlawful strikes that killed
civilians;
• the role of Saudi Arabia in supporting barbaric militias in Syria and Iraq;
and the Saudi led blockade of Qatar;
• authorities systematically discriminate against women and religious
minorities;
• international concerns have repeatedly been raised about access to
justice, women’s rights, and restrictions on freedom of expression,
freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion or belief in the Kingdom;
• in 2017, Saudi Arabia carried out 146 executions, 59 for non-violent
drug crimes and the practice of rendition of Saudi political opponents,
back to Saudi Arabia, after which they are murdered or ‘disappeared’;
[1]
• dozens of human rights defenders and activists are serving long prison
sentences for criticising authorities or advocating political and rights
reforms;
• the prima facie evidence that the Washington DC based Saudi
journalist
Jamal Khashoggi was due to be similarly rendered back to Saudi Arabia
by the Saudi government with a planned ‘murder on-the-spot’ as a
backstop, the latter being the brutal outcome on 2nd October 2018.
Believes that:
• the Saudi Arabian monarchy under the de facto leadership of
Mohammed bin Salman has shown a regrettable disregard for
international law and the civilised norms of statehood and diplomacy;
• Saudi support for one side in the civil war in Yemen, the ‘legitimate’
government of President Hadi, in order to pre-empt Iranian Shia
influence -is not a sufficiently legitimate basis for continuing its military
campaign;
• Saudi Arabia has caused several Arms Trade Treaty signatories to be
in breach of Articles 1, 6, 7 and 11 of the Treaty, based on evidence
published up to October 2018. [2]
Calls for:
• the UNSC and the EU to condemn the Saudi Arabian government for
its disregard for international law and norms;
• the Saudi authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Raif
Badawi, Liberal International Prize for Freedom winner, as he is
considered a prisoner of conscience, detained and sentenced solely for
exercising his right to freedom of expression;
• nations which form part of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen or providing
logistical and training support, to withdraw their support and promote
peace processes instead;
• the VP/HR, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the
Member States to conduct a structural dialogue with Saudi Arabia on
human rights, fundamental freedoms and the country’s troubling role in
the region within the framework of EU relations with the Gulf
Cooperation Council;
• an international tribunal to investigate the Khashoggi case and similar
cases;
• the European Council to reach a common position in order to impose
an EU-wide arms embargo on Saudi Arabia and to respect Common
Position 2008/944/CFSP and for signatories to the Arms Trade Treaty
who have not yet suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia, to do so
forthwith.

ALDE logo
Sources:
[1] The BBC report of Saudi rendition programmes can be found via:
https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/magazine-40926963
[2] Information on the Arms Trade Treaty comes from the UN
via http://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/arms-trade-treaty-2. Information of breaches of the Treaty by
Saudi Arabia regarding Yemen can be found via the link below. This also sets out data that 31% of
bomb targets are non-military and that 68% of arms deployed by Saudi Arabia in Yemen have ended
up in possession of groups and institutions other than the Saudi or ‘official’ Yemen governments.
ploughshares.ca/2018/06/war-in-yemen-a-litmus-test-of-the-arms-trade-treaty

UK delegation at Madrid ALDE Congress 2018

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