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Saudis Host UN Human Rights Conference


By Stephen Lendman

Letting one of the world's most egregious human rights abusers host the Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) June 3 and 4 UN human rights conference is like having a Mafia godfather host a session on gun control.

The conference addressed "the full and effective implementation of UN Human Rights Council Res. 16/18."

Adopted on April 11, 2011, it's titled "Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization of, and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence and Violence Against, Persons Based on Religion or Belief."

It mandates all UN Member States "promote and encourage universal respect for and observance of all human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction as to, inter alia, religion or belief."

It calls on all Member States to respect, encourage and foster religious freedom and pluralism. Its provisions are polar opposite Riyadh policies.

Imagine a nation hosting a conference on religious and other freedoms where religions other than fanatical Wahhabism are considered apostate.

Practicing them is criminalized - subjecting adherents to lengthy prison terms, public whippings, heavy fines and at times death by beheading.

Imagine a nation criminalizing free expression, prohibiting press freedom and denying most other fundamental human and civil rights.

State terror is official policy. Democracy is strictly prohibited. Torture and physical abuse are standard practice. So are public whippings, beheadings and hangings.

Due process and judicial fairness don't exist. Thousands of political prisoners languish under horrific gulag conditions.

Absolute monarchal rule tolerates no criticism or opposition. Its human rights record is none of the world’s worst.

It represents ruthless despotic rule - a vicious, hate-mongering, repressive, belligerent, fanatical religious fundamentalist police state run by a single family claiming dominion over a nation state.

Its rubber-stamp High Court just upheld the outrageous sentencing of blogger Raif Badawi to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes (50 at a time) and $250,000 fine for the crime of free speech.

Rihadh lobbied hard to chair the UN Human Rights Council. Permitting it would be like letting a serial killer become police chief or a pyromaniac fire chief.

Its bid failed, but it remains an HRC member with full voting rights. HRC president Joachim Rucker attended OIC's conference. In an opening statement, he said:

"Religious intolerance and violence committed in the name of religion rank among the most significant human rights challenges of our times."

The state-controlled Saudi Gazette ludicrously reported conference participants (including Riyadh) agreeing "to put (HRC) resolution 16/18 into effect (to combat) intolerance and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons based on religion or belief."

RT International summed up repressive Saudi policies as follows:

"No elections, no parties, no parliament, no dissent

Equality: Jobs for the Saud boys - all 7,000 of them (entitling them to share enormous wealth at the expense of most others in the Kingdom)

Power transfer: Half Brezhnev-era USSR, half Game of Thrones

Law: Scimitars and whips

Human rights: Torture and gavel

Women's rights: Female (non-)drivers

Terrorism fight: Friend or foe?"

In 2010, WikiLeaks published diplomatic cables showing Riyadh is the largest Sunni terrorism funding source.

The Kingdom is one of the world's most egregious state terrorists. Its human rights record ranks with the worst.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at

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