The appointment was immediately dubbed “scandalous” by critics, including the wife of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for blogging about freedom of speech. She said the action shows “oil trumps human rights.”
UN Watch said Trad’s appointment was made in June, but was not reported until now, after the NGO claims it obtained official HRC documents, dated September 17th, that confirm it.
“Saudi Arabia has arguably the worst record in the world when it comes to religious freedom and women’s rights,” Hillel Neuer, UN Watch executive director was quoted as saying by The Independent.
“It’s bad enough that Saudi Arabia is a member of the council, but for the UN to go and name the regime as chair of a key panel only pours salt in the wounds for dissidents languishing in Saudi prisons,” he added.
#Be_Human_listen_to_right first I'm a saudi woman.No rules protect women in my country. If I speak about my right, they will gail me.— Donna Rashed (@LadyDonna81) July 19, 2015
HRC, the UN body in charge of promotion of human rights worldwide, has been repeatedly under fire of criticism from NGOs for allowing membership in the council to countries with questionable human rights records.