Poor Job of HRC

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.

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7 thoughts on “Poor Job of HRC

  1. Ahmed:

    While I share your goal, I differ with you on the perspective.

    I do not believe the HRC to be “a government commission with the responsibility of ensuring that other government bodies are respecting human rights”

    As we know, in our nation, all laws exist in the context that they are null if they in any way conflict with religious laws, as defined by the clerical establishment.

    Moreover, the clerical establishment act as judges.

    Therefore, in truth, the HRC in the best of circumstances can only pursue its goals to the extent that the clerical establishment agrees.

    And, our clerical establishment was never likely to agree very much.

    Thus, I do not find fault with the HRC being able to accomplish little given that by its very design the HRC was never going to be able to accomplish a greater amount.

    We must rather focus on the inherent design flaw that makes any effort such as the HRC unable to accomplish much.

  2. I guess you forgot / wanted to forget this news in todays newspaper:

    http://arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=127882&d=30&m=10&y=2009&pix=kingdom.jpg&category=Kingdom

    HRC president helps restore battered wife’s right
    Walaa Hawari I Arab News

    RIYADH: The Human Rights Commission (HRC) has intervened to ensure a man convicted of abusing his wife actually serves his prison sentence.

    Fatima (not her real name), asked HRC President Bandar Al-Iban to find out why her husband was not in jail after a guilty verdict had been returned. She gave him medical reports proving that she had been physically and emotionally abused, as well as proof of the man’s sentence.

    The HRC followed up and investigated all parties involved in the case and the husband is now doing time. Al-Iban said the HRC is dedicated to resolving every case it is given and is working with relevant organizations to eliminate domestic violence.

    Meanwhile, the head of the Middle East and North Africa division at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights, Dr. Adam Abdul Mawla, met Al-Iban to discuss issues of common interest and ways to strengthen relations between the two organizations.

    Al-Iban had also met the new Canadian Ambassador Osama Sonosi to congratulate him on his new appointment and wish him luck in strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.

  3. hmmmmmm
    Maybe they need to go through these processes in order to tackle bigger issues. Today a women and her abusive husband, tomorrow challenging and fighting policies.

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