Saudi Arabia's human rights representative at the United Nations has called on the organization to work to oppose growing Islamophobia across the world.
Mishaal Al-Balawi, the head of human rights section of Saudi Arabia's delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), called on the UN to oppose growing Islamophobia as well as other forms of contemporary discrimination.
Al-Balawi's comments were addressed at E. Tendayi Achiume, the UN Special Rapporteur tasked with formulating the organization's response to contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
#HRC44 Now, pres. of reports by SR on #racism, #racial #discrimination, #xenophobia & related #intolerance, E. Tendayi Achiume, addressing racial equality in context of IT, on missions to the #Netherlands & #Qatar, on combatting the glorification of Nazism & neo-Nazism. pic.twitter.com/UWG9CYc0Ha— HRC SECRETARIAT (@UN_HRC) July 15, 2020
As well as highlighting the spread of Islamophobia, Al-Balawi also highlighted the role of the internet in facilitating broader discrimination.
“The internet is an open space for practicing racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia. It requires efforts to find solutions to make it a safe and accurately balanced space between respecting freedom of opinion and expression and combating racism and racial discrimination," he said.
Al-Balawi pointed to cyberlaws in the Kingdom that make it illegal to promote racial, religious or national discrimination online.
Saudi Arabia’s Anti-Cyber Crime Law was enacted in 2007 and allows prosectuors to sentence offenders to imprisonment for up to a year and fines of up to 500,000 Saudi riyals ($136,000).
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