Amnesty International said that the increasing restrictions on civil society in the Kingdom have not been matched by a clear response from the European Union, which rarely publicly defends human rights defenders in the country.
The international organization criticized the failure of the EU and its member states to commit themselves to support and protect human rights defenders facing threats to their lives in the Kingdom.
Amnesty International’s Director of the European Institutions Office, Yves Gedi, said that when the EU and its member states stand with human rights defenders “it could be like the difference between freedom and imprisonment, between life and death”.
“But when they fail to do anything, human rights defenders are left to their own destinies, which can have a devastating impact on them and the communities for which they work.”
Amnesty expressed surprise the “serious inconsistencies” by raising the voice of the European Union in defense of dissent in China, in return for the lack of actual public intervention of the European Union in the Kingdom amid a crackdown against the opposition.
Amnesty considered that the EU’s disregard for the suffering of dissidents in the Kingdom, its aim is to keep the EU countries “close relations with the Kingdom favored over concerns about human rights.”
“The EU and its member states need a more strategic and visible approach to support and protect people at risk because of their defense of human rights and their very important work,” said Yves Gedi.
For more than two years, the kingdom has been muzzled and hundreds of activists and jurists arrested, apparently who have tried to express their opposition to Riyadh’s changes amid human rights demands to reveal their fate and provide them with justice.
One of the most prominent detainees, Salman al-Awda, who has been in prison since September 10, 2017, after being arbitrarily detained by the Al-Saud authorities and placed in solitary confinement consecutive sessions.
The international organization has called for boycotting the kingdom in light of violations of the Al-Saud regime for human rights and the arrest of hundreds of activists, preachers and human rights.