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Brussels court should authorise investigation into Saudi Arabia's crimes against humanity

Together with leading human rights organisations, ISHR stands in solidarity with all victims of Saudi authorities’ deepening repression of political dissidents and human rights defenders.

We, the undersigned human rights organisations, stand in solidarity with all victims of Saudi authorities’ deepening repression of political dissidents and human rights defenders.

In recent years, Saudi authorities’ ongoing crackdown on dissenting voices has only increased in scope and scale. Human rights activists, writers, academics, and intellectual reformers in Saudi Arabia are increasingly targeted, subjected to harassment, smear campaigns, surveillance, arbitrary detention, torture, and enforced disappearances.

Saudi authorities should immediately end any abusive practices. Accountability efforts are also critical to achieving justice for victims.

In December 2021, a new complaint on Saudi Arabia’s crimes against humanity was submitted before Belgium’s federal prosecutor, under the principle of universal jurisdiction. While in June 2022 the Belgian federal prosecutor requested that the Brussels court of appeal dismiss the case, the court will make the final decision on whether to order the opening of an investigation following a hearing on 24 January 2023.

We support victims of repression in Saudi Arabia in their efforts to pursue different accountability avenues.

  1. Amnesty International
  2. AVAAZ
  3. Fairsquare
  4. Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR)
  5. Human Rights Foundation
  6. Human Rights Watch
  7. International Center for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR)
  8. International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
  9. Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture (OMCT)
  10. Reprieve

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