Saudi Arabia: Women's Rights

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 23rd June 2020.

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Photo of Lisa Cameron Lisa Cameron Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Mental Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the document UK Support for Human Rights Defenders, published in July 2019, what additional support his Department plans to provide to women in Saudi Arabia who campaigned for the right to drive but remain on trial.

Photo of James Cleverly James Cleverly Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

We remain concerned about the continued detention of women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia. The Foreign Secretary raised our concerns about the ongoing detention of political detainees, including women's rights defenders with Saudi Ministers during his visit this year to Riyadh on 4 and 5 March. We regularly raise areas of concern with the Saudi authorities at all levels, through Ministers, our Ambassador and the Embassy in Riyadh. We continue to raise concerns about individual cases regularly and monitor the situation closely.

We welcome recent positive developments, including the end on the ban on women driving and guardianship reforms. Women's rights still fall short of international standards, and we will continue to raise the issue with Saudi Arabia.

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