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Rubio, Cardin Lead Bipartisan Resolution Calling On Saudi Arabia To Immediately Release Detained Women’s Rights Activists

Feb 15, 2019 | Press Releases

Miami, FL – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) yesterday led a bipartisan Senate resolution that condemns the ongoing detention of Saudi women’s rights activists arrested after May 2018, and calls for their immediate release. The Rubio-Cardin resolution also calls on the President of the United States to comply with the Congressional request under the Global Magnitsky Act to determine the persons responsible for the murder of Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post Jamal Khashoggi.
Rubio and Cardin were joined by Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Ed Markey (D-MA).
The Rubio-Cardin Resolution:

  • calls on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to immediately release and drop any politically motivated charges against the detained Saudi women’s rights activists related to peaceful activities to advance human rights in Saudi Arabia, which are protected under international law;
  • expresses concern over the reported use of torture by the Government of Saudi Arabia against the women’s activists, and urges investigation into such allegations and the holding accountable of perpetrators;
  • recognizes that the strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia is in the national interest of the United States;
  • reaffirms that the global recognition and protection of basic human rights, including women’s rights, is in the national security interest of the United States;
  • urges the Government of Saudi Arabia to reform its laws that restrict basic human rights, including women’s rights, such as by abolishing the male guardianship system;
  • urges the President and the Secretary of State to affirm the support of the United States for the right of activists to peacefully advocate for the protection of universal human rights;
  •  calls on the President to press the Government of Saudi Arabia to immediately release all political prisoners, human rights defenders, journalists, and bloggers, including Raif Badawi, Waleed Abu al-Khair, and others who support religious freedom, and the women’s rights activists detained after May 2018; and
  •  calls on the President to comply with the request submitted under subsection (d) of section 1263 of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (subtitle F of title XII of Public Law 114-328; 22 U.S.C. 2656 note) for a determination under subsection (a) of that section with respect to the persons responsible for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Full text of the resolution is attached.