'Crown prince promotes human rights in line with global trends'

Al-Awwad: Kingdom witnessing radical reforms in a prosperous era


Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad, president of the Human Rights Commission (HRC), affirmed that the Kingdom has made giant leaps in the human rights file over the recent years, thanks to the utmost keenness and great support of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman.

“The Crown Prince has reshaped and reengineered the human rights file in a way well suited to the international reality and the modern changes that the world and the Kingdom are experiencing at present,” he said in remarks on the occasion to mark the celebrations of the Kingdom’s 90th National Day.

Al-Awwad stressed that the Kingdom has become much stronger, resilient, and determined to achieve the developmental goals in all spheres of life. The Kingdom is moving steadily toward more development and prosperity, he said.

According to Al-Awwad, Saudi Arabia has given the protection of human rights a top priority since its establishment. He noted that King Abdul Aziz had put its seed through his determination to consolidate the culture of justice and equality in one of his remarkable sayings: “I do not want in my life to hear about anyone being oppressed, and I do not want God to make me bear the burden of anyone’s injustice. I do not want to see myself as one who does not help the oppressed or infringe upon the right of anyone unjustly.” It is a saying that represents one of the first building blocks of human rights protection in the history of Saudi Arabia, he pointed out.

Al-Awwad stressed that the recent measures taken with the support of King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad have contributed to the Kingdom’s progress in human rights indexes, the most recent of which was the progress made in the classification of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Index issued by the US State Department.

The HRC chief said that the Kingdom was able to reformulate the concepts of humanity globally by confronting the coronavirus pandemic through adopting the precautionary measures.

“The Kingdom’s humanitarian approach was reflected while dealing with such crises to protect human health and safety, preserve human dignity from the epidemic and stem its spread. The measures that the Kingdom has taken included free treatment for both citizens and expatriates, including those who violate the residency (iqama) regulations, in addition to its response to the World Health Organization’s call to confront the pandemic, and its role, while holding the presidency of the virtual extraordinary summit of G20 leaders, in discussing efforts to combat this pandemic,” he said.

Al-Awwad emphasized that the issuance of more than 70 reform decisions in the field of human rights has laid down a new roadmap for this file in the Kingdom and strengthened the building of an effective legal and institutional framework that covers all rights related to protection and prevention. “The successive measures are a manifestation of steadfast political will toward everything that will contribute to achieving human well-being.

The new measures and the redrafting of many regulations such as civil status regulations, travel documents, judicial regulations, measures to empower women and other regulations and measures have strengthened efforts to protect human rights in the Kingdom and were instrumental in realizing major reforms,” he said.

Al-Awwad considered the lack of transparency and corruption to having a major impact on the enjoyment of basic human rights. He said these will harm the ability of institutions to provide services, including health, education, and care services, which are necessary for the realization of human rights.