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Saudi Arabia: Human Rights

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 14 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia since 1997; what representations her Department has made to Saudi Arabia on human rights issues since 1 May 1997; and if she will make a statement. (143055)

We regularly discuss the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi authorities at all levels. Human rights are also raised on our behalf by the European Union, which has decided to keep the details of these discussions confidential.

We are committed to encouraging Saudi Arabia to improve its human rights record and adhere to international human rights standards. The hon. Member may also welcome the recent increase in activities by the National Society on Human Rights (NSHR). In May 2007 the NSHR published its first annual report on the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, since it was established in 2004. This is a significant step forward.