Saudi Arabia on Tuesday failed to win a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The Kingdom nominated itself for membership in the Council of the Asia-Pacific Group, and elections were held in the General Assembly Hall of the international organization.
Saudi Arabia got only 90 votes, while Uzbekistan won 179 votes, Pakistan 169, Nepal 150, and China 139 votes.
Winning membership in the Council requires obtaining two-thirds of the votes of the members of the General Assembly (193 countries).
Fifteen countries won in these elections, including France, Britain, Mexico, Russia, Senegal, Malawi, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Nepal and China.
The Human Rights Council consists of 47 countries, and its seats are distributed among 5 regional groups.
These groups are the African countries (13 countries), the countries of Asia and the Pacific (13), the countries of Eastern Europe (6), the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (8), the countries of Western Europe, and other countries (7).
The term of the members of the Council lasts 3 years, and they may not be re-elected directly after serving two consecutive terms.
Immediately after the result was announced, Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch, said, “Good news today, Saudi Arabia has lost its bid to join the Human Rights Council.”
She added in a tweet on Twitter that this is a victory for many of the victims of this repressive regime, and we hope it will pave the way for more accountability.
YES! Today’s good news: #SaudiArabia lost its bid to become a member of the Human Rights Council.
A victory for the many victims of this oppressive regime, hopefully paving the way for more accountability at the #HRC level.
Meanwhile, we’ll continue to #StandWithSaudiHeroes! https://t.co/Vqqkptp1Mu
– Inès Osman | Ines osman (@inesosman) October 13, 2020
In another tweet, Whitson called on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to ask Saudi officials: Where did they hide Khashoggi’s body? And why are Loujain Al-Hathloul and other women’s rights activists still detained?
It also called on the US Secretary of State to ask about the reasons for the arrest of the former Saudi Crown Prince, Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, and why Saudi planes continue to bomb children in Yemen?
.@secPompeo please make sure your “strategic dialogue” w #Saudi FM includes:
– where they hid Jamal’s body?
– Loujain & other women’s rights activists still detained?
– detaining fmr crown prince MBN?
– still bombing kids in Yemen? https://t.co/Ak2Aymk1Rg
— Sarah Leah Whitson (@sarahleah1) October 13, 2020
International human rights organizations say that the human rights situation and freedom of opinion and expression are extremely poor in Saudi Arabia.
These criticisms have escalated since the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in his country’s consulate in Istanbul on the 2nd of October 2018.