2000 News Story

Prince Nayef's press conference addresses human rights

Minister of Interior Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz announced at a press conference yesterday following the graduation ceremony of border guards that the two committees on human rights, one government and the other non-governmental, would be announced shortly, adding that their formation had been under study for over two years. In reply to a question as to whether the decision to form the committees was taken under foreign pressure, he declared: "Nobody should presume that we have made the announcement about the committees as a result of the unjust campaign against the Kingdom."

Asked to comment on Amnesty International's expressed readiness to visit Saudi Arabia to look into human rights situations, Prince Nayef stated that there is an open invitation to the organization, saying: "We welcome anyone who wants to ascertain the facts." He went on to declare: "Whatever we say concerning the realization of justice is not in response to any organization, but reflects our Islamic Shariah [Law] and the will of God Almighty."

[full text of Foreign Ministry statement March 27 concerning Amnesty International's 2000 report on Saudi Arabia]