Two years after the controversial appointment of Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s leading human rights offenders, to the UN human rights council, Wikileaks cables have revealed a “secret deal” suggesting that the British government was a key player behind Riyadh’s nomination.
Some of the 61,000 files from the Saudi Foreign Ministry, dated January and February 2013, translated by both UN Watch and newspaper ‘The Australian’, reveal that the two countries reached a secret deal to ensure that they would both be elected to the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in 2013, despite Saudi Arabia’s horrific human rights record.
One of the secret cables, obtained by Wikileaks in June, said: “The ministry might find it an opportunity to exchange support with the United Kingdom, where the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would support the candidacy of the United Kingdom to the membership of the council for the period 2014-2015 in exchange for the support of the United Kingdom to the candidacy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Another diplomatic wire stipulated that there was a price tag for being on board the influential UN body: One cable revealed that Saudi Arabia transferred $100,000 for “expenditures resulting from the campaign to nominate the Kingdom for membership of the human rights council.”
While the Saudi regime has already managed to execute some 135 people so far this year, the country’s record in 2013 was almost as bad, putting it among the top five countries in terms of the number of executions carried out that year. Saudi Arabia’s criminal justice system is based on hard-line Shariah law.
The WikiLeaks revelations about the secret London-Riyadh trading raise new concerns over the sincerity of Western nations in their claims that they fight for and defend human rights. (Russia Today)