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U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Saudi Arabia
As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
January 22, 2024

U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Saudi Arabia

45th Session of the UPR Working GroupJanuary 22, 2024

As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States welcomes the delegation from Saudi Arabia led by Her Excellency Dr. Hala Maziad Altuwaijri, Minister of the Human Rights Commission. We recognize Saudi Arabia’s efforts to modernize its economy and society, and note that this modernization must include the expansion of human rights. We call on Saudi Arabia to respect freedoms of expression and association and to cease the prosecution of dissent. In the spirit of constructive engagement, we recommend that Saudi Arabia:

  1. Amend the Anti-Cyber Crime and Counter-Terrorism Laws and utilize prosecutorial discretion, to ensure that expression, including criticism of the government, is not criminalized.
  2. Reform criminal courts to ensure they conduct fair trials for all defendants, issue fair sentences for crimes based on guidelines, publish court records, and protect defendants from arbitrary detention and ill-treatment.
  3. Undertake a comprehensive, transparent investigation of allegations that Saudi security forces are killing and abusing migrants crossing the Yemeni border, cease any abuses, ensure accountability for any abuses or violations, and issue a public investigation report.

I thank you.