Saudi Arabia Wants To Be The Head Of The U.N. Human Rights Council

Saudi Arabia is reportedly planning to make a bid to head the United Nations Human Rights Council:

Saudi Arabia is reportedly planning to make a bid to head the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, in a move that has been described as the “final nail in the coffin for the credibility” of the HRC.

Reports of the bid come just days after Saudi Arabia posted a job advertisement for eight new executioners. This year it has already put 85 people to death in what has been branded by Amnesty International a “macabre spike” from the 87 people it killed in total last year.

The country will move to assume lead control over the HRC after 2016 when the presidency is awarded to a new nation.

UN Watch, a non-profit human rights group that monitors the international body, disclosed Saudi Arabia’s intentions in a recent report and urged the United States to fight against it.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, said that the move was liable to be “the final nail in the coffin for the credibility of a body that already counts dictatorships like China, Cuba and Russia as members, and whose top advisor is co-founder of the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize”.

“We urge US Ambassador Samantha Power and EU foreign minister Federica Mogherini to denounce this despicable act of cynicism by a regime that beheads people in the town square, systematically oppresses women, Christians, and gays, and jails innocent bloggers like Raif Badawi for the crime of challenging the rulers’ radical brand of Wahabbist Islam,” Neuer added.

“Electing Saudi Arabia as the world’s judge on human rights would be like making a pyromaniac as the town fire chief.

Yea, that pretty much sums it up.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, United Nations,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Saudi Arabia is reportedly planning to make a bid to behead the United Nations Human Rights Council:

    Fixed that for you

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “We urge US Ambassador Samantha Power

    “Pot paging Kettle… Pot paging Kettle…” Can you say “Gitmo”? How about “enhanced interrogation”? Abu Ghraib anyone? Not to mention “Huntsville”?*** Really, we should just shut up.

    *** as in Texas

  3. Hal_10000 says:

    Be fair. For far too long, the Human Rights Council has ignored the right of husbands to beat and control their wives. Or the right of thieves to have their hands cut off. Or the rights of rape victims to be flogged.

  4. Hal_10000 says:


    When we start executing heretics, that might be a valid point. We aren’t perfect. We’re not Saudi Arabia.

  5. Argon says:

    This year it has already put 85 people to death in what has been branded by Amnesty International a “macabre spike” from the 87 people it killed in total last year.

    Saudi Arabia or Texas?

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Hal_10000: No we aren’t Saudi Arabia. But as to executing heretics, that all depends upon what you consider to be the national religion of America. Here’s a hint: It’s not Christianity.

  7. Gustopher says:

    Surely the scrutiny of being the head of the UN Human Rights Council will make them stop and reconsider their own record on human rights, right?

    Ok, probably not. But I support this anyway — ineffectiveness is nowhere near as good as bad farce.

  8. Gustopher says:

    Actually, now that I think about it, this is like the Catholic Church wanting to be the arbiter of sexual morality, which they know nothing about having taken views of celibacy. (Also, they routinely cover up priests molesting children.)

    it’s like Ben Carson wanting to be president.

  9. Rob Prather says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Far too unfair. Saudi Arabia executed a woman who said she was raped a few years ago and didn’t give her the drugs to calm her down because they said she committed “adultery”. They wanted to make multiple whacks at her head and make her suffer.

    We might be wrong in supporting the death penalty, but we’re not that bad.

  10. DrDaveT says:

    @Rob Prather:

    We might be wrong in supporting the death penalty, but we’re not that bad.

    Does Saudi Arabia execute people, without trial, for the crime of being publicly Black?

    We’re not that bad if you’re white.

  11. Grewgills says:

    They do regularly confiscate the passports of guest workers turning them into indentured servants and if one (or more) of them dies by whoever’s hand it’s no big deal. We’re not so bad if you’re white, they’re ok if you are a religious, male, Saudi.

  12. DrDaveT says:

    @Grewgills: Oh, I’m not really arguing that we’re worse with respect to human rights than Saudi Arabia. I was more pointing out that the existence of a legal death penalty in the US is not the locus of our worst human rights offenses.

  13. Ian says:


    When I go out to Houston next week, I’ll make sure to swing by town hall. Word is it that Texas is going to be publicly beheading someone for apostasy.

    Oh, that’s right. They aren’t.

  14. Ian says:

    Scoff all you want, but this is part in parcel of King Salman’s new, independent foreign policy. Simply put, they see themselves as the guardians of the Sunni World. The Saudis have decided that they simply don’t trust Obama or fear him, and thus are better off looking after themselves rather than courting his friendship. And if I were in Riyadh’s countintel service, I’d make the same deduction after 15 years of strategic insanity from DC, first from the neocons from the right, then from Jarrett, Rhodes, and Company from the left. In the Byzantine atmosphere of the Middle East, they aren’t alone.

    That he snubbed Obama at Camp David and is now buying a nuclear weapon from Pakistan-which they’ve been far from subtle about as a possibility should Iran get the bomb-does not bode well for the future. One day, the Saudi state will collapse, but that isn’t going to be as soon as the people who parrot the “right side of history” theory think. And when it does, if they have a bomb, it’ll be even uglier than if the Sauds were in power.

    The Iranians understand all this, of course. That’s one of many reasons they are still after a bomb-to prepare for that day when the Saudi house of cards falls apart and the tumor bursts. But our ruling class doesn’t.