Saudi Arabia: Detainees

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 18th November 2020.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady SNP Chief Whip

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Saudi Arabian counterpart to secure the release of (a) Loujain AlHathloul and (b) other human rights defenders in that country; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of James Cleverly James Cleverly Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Our Ministers, Ambassador and Embassy in Riyadh have raised concerns over the continued detention of human rights defenders, including Loujain al-Hathloul and other women's rights defenders, at senior levels with the Saudi authorities. We have consistently pressed for due process, raised concerns about the use of solitary confinement, lack of family contact and allegations of torture. I most recently raised the women's rights defenders' cases with the Saudi Ambassador to the UK on 16 November.

The UK signed a statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 15 September. It noted our human rights concerns in Saudi Arabia, regretted the continued detention of women's human rights defenders and called for the release of all political detainees. We continue to raise concerns and are monitoring the situation closely.

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