Syria asks Saudi Arabia about the progress made to implement its recommendations
Syria took the floor during the Human Rights Council 25th session to inquire about the progress made by Saudi Arabia to implement a recommendation Syria had made during their UPR.
In October 2013, during the review of Saudi Arabia, Syria recommended them to "Guarantee freedom of opinion, expression and belief and refrain from preventing Syrian pilgrims from practicing their religious duties as it constitutes a flagrant violation of freedom of belief and religion as one of the basic freedom". On 21 March 2014, Syria used the item 6 general debate to ask the delegation of Saudi Arabia to address the issue contained in the recommendation with more transparency and recognise the mistakes made in relation to it. Saudi Arabia then used a right of reply to deny the allegations contained in the recommendation.
This is the first time a State is using the Human Rights Council to ask about the level of implementation of a recommendation it had made. We encourage States to make more use of the Council's item 6 general debate to discuss implementation of UPR recommendations, both from a State under Review's and from a Recommending State's perspective.