Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Saudi Arabia is currently awaiting the release of a comprehensive report on the subject of human rights in the kingdom, to be issued by the National Association for Human Rights (NAHR), which is at present finalizing the anticipated report.
Much secrecy has surrounded the report, which is the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia. According to primary information provided by NAHR, attempts to soften the tone of the report have been the cause of its delay.
In response to this, Dr Bandar al Hajjar, the president of NAHR told Asharq Al Awsat that the intensity of the language used in the report was the not the reason behind its delay and stated, “the report is still under review.” He added that details of the report will not be publicized until it has been presented to the organization’s nine-member board of executives to discuss the chapters and exchange opinions on the report. Dr Bandar al Hajjar refused to discuss the details of the report, however he underlined that the report would portray the state of human rights in the country based on the association’s experience since it was established three years ago. He attributed the delay of the report to the association’s initial commitment to establishing the association and broadening its scope. He said, “At first, we were a new organization with many issues to be settled.”
The board of executives of NAHR will hold a meeting following the upcoming Hajj season in which the report will be presented to the board before it is published through local media. Al Hajjar stated that a date has not been set for the release of the report that will pass through a number of internal departments before it is open to the public. He added that the association would not submit the report to any governmental or non-governmental bodies to be approved. He told Asharq Al Awsat, “According to our system, we are not obliged to submit this report to any governmental or non-government bodies.”
Human rights organizations all over the Arab world present a report on the state of human rights in the respective country on an annual basis. In this regard, the president of NAHR stated this his association, following the release of the anticipated report, would also issue annual reports in accordance with international human rights organizations.
The newly-established National Association for Human Rights in Saudi Arabia consists of 40 founding members (30 men and ten women). The organization had suspended the memberships of a number of associates who had been appointed to official state positions, however they have the right to reactivate their memberships as soon as their official posts end. The association also suspended the membership of Abdul Qader Tash who past away recently.