Saudi Arabia

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 28th January 2015.

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Photo of Lord Judd Lord Judd Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the scale of human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, with particular reference to corporal punishment, lashes, beheading and hanging; and what representations they have made to the government of Saudi Arabia both in the human rights context and in respect of the fight against extremism.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State

The British Government’s position on human rights is a matter of public record. Saudi Arabia remains a Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) country of concern because of the human rights situation in the country, particularly on the death penalty, access to justice, women’s rights, restrictions on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion or belief. The UK condemns the use of torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and the use of the death penalty in all circumstances. We regularly make our views known including through the UN Universal Periodic Review process and the FCO’s annual Human Rights and Democracy Report. We also raise our human rights concerns with the Saudi Arabian authorities at the highest level.

Saudi Arabia is a key partner in our global counter terrorism efforts, particularly within the region. Saudi Arabia has many years of experience in countering radicalisation and extremism. Continued close co-operation between the UK and Saudi Arabia will remain part of work to protect both UK and Saudi Arabian interests from the threat of terrorism.

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