Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia confirmed on Wednesday its rejection of any dictates or interference in its judicial affairs, and demanded that the UN Human Rights Commission respect the sovereignty and independence of states, local media reported.
The permanent Saudi representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Dr. Abdulaziz Al Wasil, stressed that his country enjoys an honest and independent judiciary, and that it does not accept, in any way, any prejudice to the sovereignty of its judicial system by any party, stressing that the Kingdom rejects any dictates or interference in its judicial affairs.
In his interview with Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al Nashef, he added that Saudi Arabia has taken, during the past few years, important historical steps in the field of women's rights and empowerment at all levels.
Dr. Al Wasil called on the High Commissioner for Human Rights to stay away from the politicisation of human rights issues, and to respect the sovereignty and independence of states and the provisions of their judicial bodies.
This came after the Saudi Criminal Court on Monday sentenced Loujain Al Hathloul to five years and eight months in prison for incitement to change the Kingdom’s ruling regime.
The 31-year-old women’s rights activist was arrested in May 2017 on charges of incitement to change the ruling regime and colluding with individuals and entities involved in terrorist crimes to serve a foreign agenda.
The court suspended two years and 10 months of her sentence. Al Hathloul can challenge the ruling within 30 days.
She was arrested with other women’s activists under anti-terror crime law.
Al Hathloul is charged with recruiting some persons in charge of sensitive government positions with the aim to destabilise the kingdom and breach its social structure.
In 2014, Al Hathloul was also arrested for her attempt to drive from the UAE to Saudi Arabia.
Her trial started in March 2019 one month before the kingdom abolished its ban on women’s rights to drive.
Several human rights groups have repeatedly called for her release.