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Human Rights Watch urges UN to ‘do more’ about rights violations in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt

Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the United Nations on Monday to do more to tackle human rights violations in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, and other countries.

The body slammed Saudi Arabia for the execution of 81 prisoners last week on charges of terrorism in its largest-ever mass execution.

It also accused Riyadh of “arm twisting” members of the HRC into terminating the mandate of an independent body looking into human rights violations in Yemen, where tens of thousands have died.

HRW said that Cairo’s arbitrary detention of thousands of political prisoners also needs investigating and that Egyptians are enduring one of the worst human rights crises in the country’s modern history.

The watchdog also criticised the records of Russia and China.

It urged the Council to appoint a special rapporteur to Russia to “address Russia’s own relentless and escalating rights crackdown at the national level”

Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has put the spotlight on potential war crimes committed by Moscow against its neighbour but HRW said this should not put abuses committed in other parts of the world in the shadow.

“Russia’s continued assault on human rights both in Ukraine and nationally highlights the importance of ensuring Council scrutiny of country situations not formally on its agenda,” read the statement.

The human rights watchdog said it welcomed the creation of a Commission of Inquiry on the Ukraine conflict but added that the UN’s Human Rights Council (HRC) should also address violations in a number of other states.

It also called on the High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate China’s “continued crimes against humanity and other rights violations”.

Hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs have been detained in China, as part of the government’s crackdown on the Muslim minority.

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