Saudi Arabia Says Human Rights Critics are God's Enemies

Published May 10th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Saudi Arabia slammed critics of its human rights record as enemies of God, religion and humanity and said its Islamic Sharia law was the best guarantee of rights.  

Justice Minister Abdullah bin Mohammad al-Sheikh was quoted Tuesday by AP as saying that recent criticisms of human rights under Sharia law were false allegations. 

"We all know that those who instigate those doubts are the enemies of God and the enemies of all humanity. Their hearts are full of hatred," he said. 

Amnesty International Tuesday criticized defects in Saudi Arabia's criminal justice system, including a lack of safeguards against arbitrary arrest and detention, and summary and secret trial proceedings, said Reuters. 

In a report released in London, the human rights group highlighted the absence of the right to prompt access to a lawyer upon detention, and the use of confessions extracted under duress as sole evidence for conviction. 

Reuters quoted Amnesty International's secretary general, as saying that one of the factors that perpetuates the patterns of human rights violations in Saudi Arabia is the inherent structural defects in the criminal justice system. 

Saudi Arabia dismissed a March report by the agency as short on facts and objectivity but said it had invited an Amnesty official and a United Nations investigator to look at its justice system.  

It also said it was establishing a government committee to investigate allegations of torture and an independent body to "publicise and protect" human rights but denied the moves were a response to international pressure - (Agencies) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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