I know some people think that human rights organizations in Saudi Arabia are a joke, and sadly sometimes they are, but I don’t think these organizations are useless. That’s why I feel so disappointed when I see that the Human Rights Commission (HRC) is still doing a poor job, and that its new president Bandar al-Iban has so far proven he is not all that different from his predecessor. In today’s Arab News, he talks about how his organization helped a woman called Fatima to put her abusive husband in jail.
That’s well and good, but it is certainly not the kind of work that HRC should be doing. As a government commission with the responsibility of ensuring that other government bodies are respecting human rights they are expected to offer an organized effort on a much higher scale.
I understand that HRC is not exactly working in Sweden, but I always wish they would try harder and go the extra mile. They need not to look too far: their peers at the National Society of Human Rights have been doing a nice job with their reports and occasional statements. It is hardly enough, but at least it’s a start. Am I expecting too much of HRC? Maybe, and the reason is because I think they are in a position where they could, and should, get much more done.