2004 Press Release

First independent human rights organization in Saudi Arabia
Forty-one men and women charged with defending the rights of Saudi citizens

[Washington, DC] -- For the first time, Saudi Arabia has established a non-governmental human rights organization to uphold the basic rights guaranteed to its citizens.  The National Human Rights Association (NHRA), which will implement international human rights charters signed by Saudi Arabia, will also include a special panel to monitor violations of women's rights.

The NHRA consists of 41 members who will work with international human rights organizations and issue periodic reports on the progress of human rights in Saudi Arabia. 

Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar bin Sultan stated: "The establishment of this human rights organization is just another step in Saudi Arabia's integrated reform program.  Institutions such as these are the foundation for successful and lasting reforms."

The formation of the NHRA follows on the heels of the first-ever human rights conference in Saudi Arabia which was held in Riyadh last October.  There is already a human rights committee at the Consultative Council, Saudi Arabia's 120-member advisory body.  Another government-run human rights body will soon be established, and it will work to implement government decisions regarding human rights.   

Over the past few years, Saudi Arabia has embarked upon a comprehensive economic, educational, and political reform agenda to promote a vibrant economy and broader civic and political participation of our citizens.

Specific measures taken to implement the reform agenda are discussed below and can be found in the ISSUES section of this web site, under Human Rights and Reform .


Economic Reforms


Educational Reform and Countering Extremism


Financial Oversight


Building Civic Participation


Broadening Political Participation