Greetings, Fox, here are the keys to the henhouse

Who better to head an important panel on the UN Human Rights Council than that paragon of human rights, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?

UN Watch, an independent campaigning NGO, revealed [Faisal bin Hassan] Trad, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador at the UN in Geneva, was elected as chair of a panel of independent experts on the UN Human Rights Council.

As head of a five-strong group of diplomats, the influential role would give Mr Trad the power to select applicants from around the world for scores of expert roles in countries where the UN has a mandate on human rights.

Such experts are often described as the “crown jewels” of the HRC, according to UN Watch, which has obtained official UN documents, dated 17 September, confirming the appointment.

UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer said the appointment, made in June but unreported until now, may have been a consolation prize for the Saudis after they withdrew their bid to head the 47-nation council following international condemnation of the kingdom’s human rights record.

So they withdrew their bid after (and probably because) the world was noticing how horrifically bad they are at human rights, and the UN gave them a consolation prize? In the shape of a different but still very influential position?


The Saudis’ bid emerged shortly after it posted a job advertisement for eight new executioners, to cope with what Amnesty International branded a “macabre spike” in the use of capital punishment, including beheadings, this year.

Raif Badawi could not be reached for comment.

2 Responses to “Greetings, Fox, here are the keys to the henhouse”