House of Commons
Press Freedom in Saudi Arabia
EDM #619
Tabled 17 June 2020
2019-21 Session
That this House condemns the continued detention of at least 32 journalists in Saudi Arabia and calls for their immediate and unconditional release; notes that 17 June 2020 marks eight years since the arrest of blogger Raif Badawi, as well as the birthday of Waleed Abu al-Khair, a human rights defender and Badawi's lawyer, who also remains unjustly jailed; is alarmed by the additional risk presented by the Covid-19 pandemic to all of the detained journalists, underscoring the urgent need for their release; reiterates the need for concrete steps towards justice for the murder of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi; notes that Saudi Arabia has one of the world's worst records on press freedom, with a ranking of 170 out of 180 countries on Reporters Without Borders' 2020 World Press Freedom Index; and urges the UK government to raise these issues as a matter of urgent priority with the government of Saudi Arabia and press for concrete reforms to improve the country's press freedom climate ahead of the G20 Riyadh Summit in November.