Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Rep. Duckworth Responds AGAIN To My Letter Regarding Human Rights Reform in Saudi Arabia

March 11, 2015
Dear Mr. Rosen,

Thank you for contacting me about the need for human rights reforms in Saudi Arabia. I appreciate you taking the time to make me aware of your concerns on this important matter.
On January 22, 2015, Saudi Arabia's King, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz passed away at the age of 90. King Abdullah was an important U.S. partner in advocating for peace in the Middle East. He also made some critical reforms to improve freedom in his country. He worked to increase access to education for all Saudi Arabians and created the country's first coeducational university, initiated judicial reforms, proposed easing the ban on women driving and lightened some restrictions on freedom of expression and religion. 
Despite the progress made so far, the oppression of freedom of speech and religion continues to plague Saudi Arabians and the country is consistently ranked as one of the worst in regards to women's rights. I believe that as King Abdullah's brother, Salman bin Abdulaziz, transitions into power, the U.S. has an important opportunity to advocate for important human rights and democratic reforms in Saudi Arabia. The United States has a long history of supporting people all over the globe by promoting economic prosperity, strengthening democracy and human rights, reinforcing food security, improving global health and advancing environmental sustainability. We must continue our work with Saudi Arabia and make it a priority that they address the human rights issues facing its citizens. No groups or individuals should feel threatened because of who they are, where they are from or what they believe. Rest assured that I will work with my colleagues in Congress to promote and protect basic human rights around the globe.
Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue. If you would like more information on my work in Congress, please visit my website. You can find upcoming events in the district, sign up for my newsletter, access my voting record and see what I am doing to address today's most important issues. I hope that you will continue to share your views and opinions with me and let me know whenever I may be of assistance to you.
The Honorable Tammy DuckworthMember of Congress
Illinois' 8th District