Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Saudi Arabia: Human Rights

Part of Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons on 17th March 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

I thank the hon. Lady for her question. I was not quite clear whether she was talking specifically about Saudi Arabia, but we raise these issues. Obviously the Government and the jurisdictions are very sensitive about their cases, but we raise these issues because that is what international law requires. We have made the points that she and Dame Diana Johnson have raised, and we will continue to do so.

There has been an incremental and modest improvement in Saudi Arabia’s human rights situation. In the World Bank’s “Women, Business and the Law 2020” report, Saudi Arabia was ranked as the most improved economy for women’s economic opportunities. We want to encourage that positivity, and also, where there are abuses of human rights—whether in relation to the Khashoggi case, Raif Badawi, which was another case I raised, or the women’s rights defenders—to make sure that that is a part of our bilateral relations. We will keep raising these important issues.