In what seems to be a mockery of Human Rights, Saudi Arabia which has one of the worst Human Rights record in the world has been awarded a key position in the United Nations Human Rights Council.
With over a hundred executions to its credit in 2015 already as compared to 88 in 2014, Saudi Arabia has been rewarded it seems for its gross violation of Human Rights over the years. The appointment reminds me of the times when teachers in High School used to appoint the most vicious Bully as the Monitor of the class in the hope that he will behave himself, but more often than not, truth be told, never did it have any effect on the notorious behavior of the student.
Amusing it might seem had it not involved something so morbid, that the UN had to appeal to Saudi Arabia to halt the execution of a 21 year old for holding anti-government protests before he had even turned 18 right after its Human Rights Council appointment. And to add insult to injury, Raif Badawi, a liberal secular activist who was working towards developing a more tolerant Islam, continues to rot in the prisons of Saudi Arabia serving his 10 year sentence for ‘apostasy’ and charges involving Insult to Islam. Additionally, Badawi has been sentenced to a thousand lashes to be served in 20 installments of which only 50 lashes have been delivered. The second installment of lashes has been postponed over 10 times, mostly due to Raif’s poor health.
The reaction of the Indian Media has been suspicious and hypocritical made awfully conspicuous by its silence. One would have expected some sort of reaction from them considering how recently, there was much outcry after a Saudi official left India after raping our women and Indian officials couldn’t do much about it due to the Diplomatic Immunity he enjoyed. Apparently, it seems Outrage is only possible when Narendra Modi is on the receiving end of it.
The whole affair further exposes the duplicity of the Indian Media which has chosen to report virtually nothing about the gross Human Rights violations of the Saudis. When one is reminded of how the Intellectuals had screamed and bellowed over Yakub Memon’s Death Sentence, one would have expected them to observe the same stance regarding the Saudis’ dubious appointment to the Human Rights Council. Secularists from all over the world have gone up against the Saudis and trended the hashtag #FreeRaif time and again to show their solidarity with Raif Badawi. But our Indian Secularists seem to be preoccupied with fighting the mythical ‘Hindutva Fascism’ to really raise their voice for Raif.
All in all, the United Nations decision to award Saudi Arabia with the opportunity to head its Human Rights panel exposes the fact that even in democracies, the leaders of the Nation do not represent its population. If they did, the U.S. State Department wouldn’t have welcomed the news of Saudi Arabia heading the United Nations Human Rights panel.
Another fact that has been exposed is that the West and the United Nations have a very weird definition of Human Rights. Although it had no compunction regarding the USA and its allies invading Iraq because of Saddam Hussein’s evil dictatorship, it is equally at ease awarding a key position to Saudi Arabia, which has a deplorable Human Rights record, in its Human Rights Council.
Also, at this juncture, one is forced to ask, if Saudi Arabia can head the United Nations Human Rights Council, surely India, with its rich history of tolerance towards foreign civilizations and crucial stature in the Subcontinent to boost, has the right to be a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council?