In Saudi Arabia, homosexual behaviour is punishable by death sentence. Three gay men were executed by beheading in Saudi Arabia in 2002. In July 2014, Saudi Arabia sentenced another gay man to three years imprisonment and 450 lashes for meeting men on twitter.
Saudi Arabia involvement in the Human Rights council has provoked controversy in the past. In September 2016 the nation was asked to lead the “consultative Group”, which help the council appoint human rights experts who serve in a variety of peacekeeping roles in the world. Cables released by WikiLeaks in 2015 revealed that the Saudis made a secret deal with the United Kingdom to ensure their places in the council.
The HRC has affirmed that human rights are universal, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, most recently in a 2014 resolution, Saudi Arabia voted against the resolution.
Saudi Arabia continues to crack down on LGBT on social media. According to a March 31 report by Vocativ, the kingdom is considering executing people for coming out online.
“The extreme proposal comes amid a reported surge in the of homosexuality-related crimes being prosecuted in the city of Jeddah, which official attribute to a growing use of social media among members of the kingdom’s LGBT community”, wrote Shane Dixon Kavanaugh.
Amnesty International’s website declares that “Saudi Arabia has one of the worst human rights records in the world”. In addition to routine use of torture, the NGO also cites “public execution, discrimination, intolerance for free speech, possible war crimes in Yemen”, among other offences including torture and killings of domestic workers from Sub-Saharan Africa.
Despite these well-documented violations, Saudi Arabia remains close ally of the United States. The USA continue to arm the kingdom despite the repeated war crimes in Yemen.
Speaking to Catherine Shakdam in January 2016, investigative journalist Vanessa Beelay said the special treatment afforded to Saudi Arabia “exemplified America’s exceptionalism.”
“Saudi Arabia’s ‘special friendship’ with the U.S…has allowed for U.S. officials to pick and choose when to show outrage and when to denounce human rights violations, manipulating international law to the tune of their own political agendas, rather than objectively defending the rule of law”
Meanwhile in Tanzania, the European Union recently recalled the head of its delegation to Tanzania because of what it calls a “deterioration of the human rights and rule of law” in East African Nation.
The move to withdraw its ambassador, Roeland van de Geer, comes after severe international criticism over crackdown on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Tanzanians.
Denmark’s development minister Ulla Tornaes announced that the country has withheld $9.8 million in aid money to Tanzania over “unacceptable homophobic” comments made by one of the country’s government officials.
World Bank joined in the fray of international organisations condemning Tanzania over recent attacks of homosexuals.
Foreign aid from Ireland to Tanzania which amounts to € 18 million to the East African country last year, should be allocated towards strengthening civil rights groups due to reports that gays and lesbians in Tanzania are increasingly facing arrests and harassments by police, Fintan Warfield, of Sinn Féin said.
Human Rights in Tanzania is more important than in Saudi Arabia. Africa is facing more challenges than LGBT issues, basic needs are becoming almost rare in this continent, people are going with one meal per day in fact more than half of the population in this continent are lacking one of the basic needs. More than half of deaths in this continent are caused by poverty related causes which are of course manufactured by people. Nobody seems to voice the voice of the poor people but what two people do privately in their bedrooms. The priority is not human rights, because after all more serious issues which are catastrophic to human lives are not being addressed. Let that sink in!