mandate for a Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Saudi Arabia. 131 Since the
mandate was established in 1982, 132 the Special Rapporteur “on extrajudicial, summary or
arbitrary executions” has not visited Saudi Arabia even once. 133 This Special Procedure must take
it upon himself or herself to submit visit requests to Saudi Arabia, so that he or she may meet with
judges, lawyers, government leaders, detainees, and others, and ultimately bring to light the
kingdom’s gross disregard for the rights of juvenile offenders.
On the other hand, since the mandate was established in 2005, 134 the Special Rapporteur
“on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism” has visited Saudi
Arabia once, in 2017, and his report is forthcoming. 135 In his preliminary findings, released on
May 4, 2017, the Special Rapporteur noted a few concerns with Saudi Arabia’s counter-terrorism
approach, focusing on the right to free speech and due process. 136 In a press release published the
next day, the Special Rapporteur spoke out only against Saudi Arabia’s use of counter-terrorism
legislation against people peacefully exercising their rights to free association, assembly and
expression. 137 By failing to address juvenile executions, the Special Rapporteur has completely
overlooked Saudi Arabia’s use of capital punishment for crimes committed as juveniles. The
forthcoming final and official report must address the preliminary observations’ shortcomings.
Saudi Arabia must recognize that the juveniles arrested in violent extremist efforts are
victims of a large-scale structured indoctrination scheme. The Islamic State and other terrorist
organizations are at fault. The children themselves have not obtained the level of competency
required to acknowledge the consequences of joining the terrorist organization; they are victims,
not criminals. These children only understand fear, hunger, and marginalization, all of which these
organizations use to their advantage to manipulate them into becoming young militants. Juvenile
violent extremist offenders, just like any other juvenile offender, are guaranteed the protections of
the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is the United Nations’ obligation to
address the international law violations being carried out by Saudi Arabia in their executions of
juvenile violent extremist offenders, and Saudi Arabia’s obligation to recognize the rights of
juveniles, regardless of their affiliation with terrorist organizations.
131 Country Mandates, U.N. HUM. RTS. OFF. OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER,
132 Thematic Mandates, supra note 130.
133 Country Visits, U.N. HUM. RTS. OFF. OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER,
134 Thematic Mandates, supra note 130.
135 View Country visits of Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council since 1998, U.N. HUM. RTS. OFF. OF THE
136 UN Special Rapporteur, supra note 101.
137 Saudi Arabia must reform counter-terror law and free peaceful critics, says UN rights expert, U.N. HUM. RTS OFF.
OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER,