Saudi Arabia appoints woman as Head of Human Rights Commission for first time

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The Saudi Monarch, King Salman, has issued a Royal Order appointing Hala Al-Tuwaijri as the Chief of the Human Rights Commission, the first woman to hold this position, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Hala Al-Tuwaijri will replace Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad as the Head of the Saudi government’s Human Rights Commission. The Commission claims to be independent from the government, although its Chief is appointed by a Royal Order and all its members are appointed by the President of the Council of Ministers of Saudi Arabia, the members of which are appointed by a Royal Order.

The head of the Human Rights Commission holds the rank of Minister.

King Salman issued another order relieving Awwad, the outgoing Head of the Human Rights Commission, from his position. The order also appointed Awwad as an Advisor to the Royal Court with the rank of Minister.

During Al-Awwad’s term, the Council witnessed the participation of 12 women, not including Al-Tuwaijri, according to Anadolu Agency.

Prior to the Royal Order, Al-Tuwaijri had been the Secretary-General of the Family Affairs Council since June 2017. With this Royal Order, she is the first woman to assume the position of Head of the Human Rights Commission in the Kingdom.

In its official statements, Saudi Arabia affirms its respects human rights. It received several delegations, including European delegations, to discuss the issue. The Kingdom denies the existence of any human rights violations.

Following the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi Human Rights Commission expressed its rejection of any involvement of an international or UN-led probe into the murder of the Saudi journalist and opponent.

READ: Saudi readies to send astronaut to space

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