Demand Full Human Rights Reform in Saudi Arabia


Target: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

Goal: Urge Saudi Arabia to clarify acceptance of human rights proposals

Saudi Arabia has accepted 181 proposed human rights recommendations set forth by the U.N.  225 reforms were initially proposed.  While it is commendable that Saudi Arabia has fully or in part accepted the vast majority of these proposed changes, more can still be done.

Many of the reforms were approved with vague language or in very broad terms.  In some cases, only tiny portions of the recommendation were accepted.  It is particularly unclear whether some privileges, such as driving a car, will be extended to women.  The international community has harshly criticized Saudi Arabia in the past for its treatment of Saudi women.  If Saudi Arabia wishes to be seen as a world power, it must begin respecting the human rights and civil liberties of its entire people.  King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia must reconsider the wishy-washy approval of some reforms if he is to enact meaningful change in his country.

Among the most exciting reforms submitted was an agreement to phase out male guardianship policies.  However, this was also one of the most vaguely worded agreements, and it remains to be seen how much will actually be done to comply with the recommendation.  According to The Guardian, when asked in an interview if women would be able to drive in Saudi Arabia in the future, a government spokesman was not able to give a definitive answer.

Amnesty International released a statement on Wednesday, March 19th reading in part that the kingdom “…rejected crucial recommendations to ratify core international treaties including those that would safeguard the rights of women and grant victims access to justice. Until Saudi Arabia’s actions match its words the kingdom’s dire reputation as a grave violator of human rights is unlikely to change.  Saudi Arabia must prove that its acceptance of these recommendations is more than a mere public relations exercise designed to deflect criticism of its human rights record.”

In order to prove that these reforms are more than just talk, King Abdullah must order his government to revise their positions to make them more clear, concise, and specific.  Demand that justice be served and rights be respected for all who live in Saudi Arabia today.


Dear King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia,

Thank you for accepting 181 of the UN Human Rights Counsel’s proposed human rights reforms to your country.  This is an important step forward for Saudi Arabia in the eyes of the international community.  However, much work is still needed to improve human rights for all in Saudi Arabia.

I am urging you today to have your government clarify language in the confirmation of these reforms to explain exactly how and to what degree these improvements will be enacted.


[Your Name Here]

 Photo credit: Manal al-Sharif via wikimedia commons

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