Jan 14, 2020 12:58 UTC
  • NGOs boycott pre-G20 meetings in Saudi Arabia over rights violations

Three prominent international NGOs have boycotted meetings that Saudi Arabia is holding with civil society groups ahead of the annual Group of Twenty (G20) Summit, saying the Riyadh regime is trying to “whitewash its dire human rights record” by hosting such events.

In a joint statement issued on Monday, human rights group Amnesty International, anti-corruption body Transparency International, and the global alliance of civil society organizations and activists known as CIVICUS said they would not take part in the dedicated meetings for civil society within the G20, known as the Civil 20 or C20.

“As leading civil society organizations present in most countries around the world (but notably not Saudi Arabia), we cannot participate in a process that seeks to give international legitimacy to a state that provides virtually no space for civil society, and where independent civil society voices are not tolerated,” read the statement.

In another development on Monday, human rights organization Reprieve said Saudi Arabia executed 184 people in 2019, the most in a calendar year in six years.