'We have nothing to hide'

'We hope that the visit will take place in the year 2000 and that the Special Rapporteur

will report to the 2001 session of the UN Commission on Human Rights.' Amnesty International

said.

Saudi Arabia delivered a statement at yesterday's session of the UN Commission on

Human Rights in response to an intervention earlier in the day by the European Union which

referred to human rights violations in Saudi Arabia, among other countries.

Amnesty International noted that the Saudi Arabian delegation expressed the desire to

cooperate with the Commission on the basis of 'transparency, clarity and objectivity' and stated

that 'the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has nothing to hide'. These statements echo responses by

government officials reported in the media during the last two days.

Amnesty International launched its first global campaign against human rights violations

in Saudi Arabia on 28 March, and has yet to receive a direct response from the government to its

report and requests to discuss its findings.

'We hope this will mark the beginning of frank and far reaching discussion of human

rights issues,' said Amnesty International's Secretary General Pierre San«, 'and that we will

receive a positive response to our outstanding requests to the authorities to send a delegation to

Saudi Arabia for talks with the government and judicial officials, fact-finding and trial

observation.We trust that this is a stepping stone towards resolving the serious human rights

concerns that we have outlined in our report.'

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