While Saudi Arabia earlier this month introduced breakthrough changes allowing women over the age of 21 to travel freely as part of its ongoing social reform program, the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) has continued its pattern of negative coverage of the country. Analysis of HRW’s 2019 output reveals disproportionate and lopsided coverage of Saudi Arabia compared to other countries.
On Friday, Executive Director of HRW Kenneth Roth tweeted on Saudi Arabia’s decision to lift restrictions on females traveling abroad but mentioned that the right was not affirmed in law. Roth failed to note that only four days prior to his tweet, over 1,000 Saudi women above the age of 21 went through passport control in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province without the consent of their male guardians. That same day, Saudi Arabia officially ordered all of its passports and civil status departments across all regions of the Kingdom to implement the announced changes that allow women above the age of 21 to travel without permission and to exercise more control over family matters.
An Iranian exile shouts slogans to protest against executions in Iran during a demonstration in front of the Iranian embassy in Brussels December 29, 2010. (Reuters)
Bolton and Pompeo want to impose sanctions on Iran's foreign minister @JZarif. In my recent dealings with him, he:— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) July 5, 2019
1. Helped secure UN investigation of Myanmar for atrocities against Rohingya.
2. Vowed Iran wouldn't join Syrian attacks on Idlib civilians. https://t.co/aJN33nCAbD pic.twitter.com/jzjP607KSo
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif talks to the media. (Reuters)
Accusations of pro-Iran bias
Human Rights Watch (HRW) Middle East and North Africa (MENA) director Sarah Leah Whitson (L), Priyanka Motaparthy (C), a representative of the MENA division of HRW and Nicholas McGeehan (R), the director of Mafiwasta, an organisation for workers' rights in the United Arab Emirates, attend a press conference in Doha on June 12, 2012. (AFP)