Geneva – Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties (GCRL) is appalled by the killing of a young girl in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during home demolition as bulldozers were deployed to tear down buildings constructed without permits.
According to video footage, the little child Noura was killed as bulldozers razed her family home in the kingdom’s southern region of Asir alleged to have been constructed without building licenses.
GCRL highlights the dangers of the forced displacement of the civilian population which has become frequent in Saudi Arabia as a clear violation of international law, which prohibits practices carried out by governments, paramilitary forces, or fanatic groups towards ethnic, religious, or sectarian groups aiming at evicting certain lands and replacing them with other population groups.
Forced displacement can be either directly by forcing persons or groups of persons to flee or leave their homes or places of habitual residence, or indirectly, by forcing the population to leave and emigrate, using means of pressure, intimidation, and persecution.
Geneva Council points out that Articles 2, 7, and 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court state that forced displacement is a war crime, stipulating that deportation or forcible transfer of population, when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, constitute a crime against humanity. ”
Moreover, Article 49 of the Geneva Convention states that “Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited”.
Accordingly, the Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties affirms that what the Saudi security forces have committed during home demolition abusing their legal authority granted to them in accordance with the law, which led to the killing of the girl “Noura”, is a full-fledged crime with deserves the harshest punishments for intentional killing. GCRL stresses that the rule of law requires performing any executive order must be done with respect to the rights of individuals, and therefore the Saudi authorities are urged to open an urgent investigation into the incident that showed recklessness and disregard for the civilian population and ensure that all those responsible are held to account.