Sweden Reverses Human Rights Stand to Restore Saudi Ties

Saudi Arabia has restored its ambassador to Sweden after a diplomatic spat sparked by Swedish criticism of Saudi human rights abuses.

Sweden’s Foreign Minister, Margot Wallstrom, had called the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a “dictatorship” and said that the kingdom’s flogging of Raif Badawi was ‘medieval.’ She also strongly criticized Saudi Arabia’s record on women’s rights.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive. All women and girls are also required to have a male guardian under Saudi law. In most cases, women in the kingdom are forbidden from travelling, doing business, marrying, divorcing, opening a bank account – even undergoing certain medical procedures – without the permission of their male guardian.