NSHR seeks end to racial bias


Saudi Gazette report

— The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) has said it has noticed several instances of racial discrimination on the basis of nationality at some service facilities in the Kingdom.

"These discriminatory practices have helped some people enjoy certain services while others stood deprived," a high level source at the NSHR said.

"This is a human rights violation in light of international agreements and charters signed by Saudi Arabia with other countries and agencies," the source said.

The source emphasized that discrimination in extending services based on the customers' nationality is illegal and a clear violation of human rights.

"The NSHR has noticed several instances of such human rights violations as some organizations extend their services to some people while denying them to others," Al-Hayat Arabic daily reported quoting the source.

Saudi Arabia ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on Sept. 23, 1997. "Discriminatory practices of employees at service organizations must be stopped on the basis of this convention," the source said.

"This agreement has become an essential part of the Saudi law," the source said. However, the source refused to elaborate on specific examples of such rights violations in the country.

The source explained: "Racial discrimination is a violation of human rights in the form of either discrimination or exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent or nationality or ethnicity, as well as the obstruction of human rights or fundamental freedoms, or practice them with equality in any area of public life."

Saudi Arabia will implement the provisions of the convention, provided they do not conflict with the precepts of the Islamic Shariah, the Kingdom said while ratifying the convention.