Saudi Arabia's Ambassador Faisal bin Hassan Trad (left) was selected in 2015 to become Chair of the UN Human Rights Council panel on choosing UN rights experts. Mr. Michael Møller (right) is the Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva. Photo by Pierre Albouy.

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador Faisal bin Hassan Trad (left) was selected in 2015 to become Chair of the UN Human Rights Council panel on choosing UN rights experts. Mr. Michael Møller (right) is the Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva. Photo by Pierre Albouy.

UN Watch revealed that Saudi Arabia’s representative in Geneva, Ambassador Faisal bin Hassan Trad, was elected Chair of the 5-person panel that chooses UN human rights experts.

The story went viral and was reported around the world:

  • Newsweek: “UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer said in a statement on Sunday, “Petro-dollars and politics have trumped human rights.”
  • The Independent: “The United Nations is coming under fire for handing Saudi Arabia a key human rights role even though the Kingdom has “arguably the worst record in the world” on freedoms for women, minorities and dissidents.”
  • The Huffington Post: “UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer called Trad’s appointment “scandalous,” adding: “Saudi Arabia has arguably the worst record in the world when it comes to religious freedom and women’s rights, and continues to imprison the innocent blogger Raif Badawi.”

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