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Leading NGOs boycott Saudi G20 Summit

September 15, 2020 at 3:00 pm

An unidentified guest attends a meeting of Finance ministers and central bank governors of the G20 nations in the Saudi capital Riyadh on February 23, 2020 [FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images]

Three international NGOs boycotted meetings that Saudi Arabia is holding with civil society groups ahead of the annual Group of Twenty (G20) Summit, saying the Riyadh regime is trying to “whitewash its dire human rights record” by hosting such events.

According to a joint statement issued yesterday, human rights group Amnesty International, anti-corruption body Transparency International, and the global alliance of civil society organisations and activists known as CIVICUS said they would not take part in the dedicated meetings for civil society within the G20, known as the Civil 20 or C20.

“As leading civil society organizations present in most countries around the world (but notably not Saudi Arabia), we cannot participate in a process that seeks to give international legitimacy to a state that provides virtually no space for civil society, and where independent civil society voices are not tolerated,” read the statement.

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In March, 220 civil society organisations announced a boycott of the G20 meeting due to be hosted by Saudi Arabia.

The fifteenth meeting of the Group of Twenty (G20) will be hosted by Saudi Arabia from 21–22 November 2020 in the capital Riyadh.

According to Freedom House in Washington D.C. the absolute monarchy ranks among the ten “worst of the worst” countries in the world in terms of political rights and civil liberties.