Saudi Arabia denies Neom human rights abuses in response to UN report

Saudi Arabia has formally responded to a United Nations Human Rights Council report criticising loss of life sentences for 3 males related to the Neom mega mission.

A letter from the Everlasting Mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations rejected that three males have been sentenced to loss of life for criticising evictions for the Neom mission and claimed they have been terrorists related to organisations Daesh and Al-Qaida.

“The data contained within the joint communication is inaccurate and incorporates false allegations and claims which might be based mostly solely on info obtained from the supply with out substantiation or proof,” mentioned the response.

“The joint communication alleged that the penalties imposed on the mentioned individuals have been merely for expressing their opposition to the evictions, which is completely unfaithful. The penalties imposed on them have been for being convicted of terrorist offences.”

Saudi claims males convicted for “supporting two terrorist entities”

The 27-page letter outlines the accusations in opposition to Shadli bin Ahmad al-Huwaiti, Ibrahim bin Salih al-Huwaiti, and Atallah bin Moussa al-Huwaiti, who human rights organisation ALQST reported have been sentenced to loss of life after being “forcibly evicted” from the Neom website in October 2022.

It states that the cousins, who’re a part of the Huwaitat tribe, have been arrested and tried for “becoming a member of a terrorist entity looking for to deprave the nation by means of armed riot in opposition to the state”, possessing weapons to be used in terrorist actions, “incitement to take part in terrorist acts” and “supporting two terrorist entities (Daesh and Al-Qaida).”

It added that Ibrahim al-Huwaiti was moreover accused and convicted of “financing of terrorism and provide of weapons and ammunition to terrorists to be used in terrorist operations”.

Dying sentences awaiting Supreme Court docket determination

The letter confirmed that the three males had been sentenced to loss of life and that this determination was upheld on the Court docket of Attraction. The choice is now “pending” earlier than the Supreme Court docket, in keeping with the letter.

The loss of life sentences have been criticised by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Could this 12 months. An announcement revealed by the organisation expressed alarm over the approaching executions and urged the Saudi authorities to not perform the executions.

“Below worldwide legislation, states that haven’t but abolished the loss of life penalty might solely impose it for the ‘most critical crimes’, involving intentional killing,” the specialists mentioned. “We don’t consider the actions in query meet this threshold.”

The UN specialists additionally criticised reported pressured evictions on the Neom website to make approach for the mission, which can be constructed on lands historically held by the Huwaitat tribe.

“Given the circumstances, we can not contemplate that the necessities of session and free, prior and knowledgeable consent of the Huwaitat folks of the three villages have been met,” mentioned the specialists.

Over 6,000 folks relocated for Neom

In response to those reviews, the Everlasting Mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations denied that any pressured evictions had taken place.

“The strategy of pressured eviction or displacement just isn’t practised within the Neom or different initiatives, no matter whether or not the inhabitants have or don’t have documentary proof of property possession assembly the authorized necessities,” it mentioned.

“The method of inhabitants relocation handed by means of various phases starting with session periods, adopted by residents’ reception after which the availability of improvement interventions.”

In keeping with the letter, 1,143 households, comprising a complete of 6,360 people, have up to now been relocated as a result of Neom mission.

The federal government claims that these folks have been totally compensated for his or her properties and immovable property.

It states that the quantities have been decided by “an neutral committee comprising members from a number of authorities businesses in addition to two unbiased members”.

Over 1,000 grievances obtained 

It additionally said that these affected by the Neom mission can lodge complaints with the Board of Grievances. This organisation has obtained 1,352 grievances “on all kinds of issues from property homeowners and residents affected by relocation”, in keeping with the letter.

An initiative of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, Neom is being developed on a 10,200-square-mile website within the northwest of the nation.

It varieties a part of the Saudi Imaginative and prescient 2030 plan to diversify the nation’s economic system and cut back its dependence on oil and can embrace a 170-mile-long metropolis named The Line.

In a current documentary targeted on the mission, Mohammed bin Salman claimed the town was crucial to deal with Saudi Arabia’s rising inhabitants.

“The inhabitants goes to leap in Saudi Arabia from at the moment 33 million, in 2030 one thing between 50 to 55 million,” he mentioned.

“In 2030, we’ll attain the complete capability of Saudi Arabia’s present infrastructure. That raises an important query – that we have to create a brand new metropolis.”

Together with being one of many world’s largest initiatives, The Line can be one of the vital controversial. Together with human rights abuses, it has been criticised by specialists for its sustainability and liveability claims.

Talking to Dezeen, Amnesty Worldwide’s Peter Frankental mentioned that firms engaged on Neom have been dealing with a “ethical dilemma” and will “suppose twice” about their persevering with involvement within the mission.