Abetz calls for action over Saudi tracking app
Liberal Senator Eric Abetz has joined international counterparts to call for Apple and Google to ban the Absher app from its app stores as it is being used as a tool of oppression.
The Absher app requires a male guardian to approve travel and even, in some cases, can track the location of females.
“This app is being used as a tool of oppression and to restrict the free movement of people in Saudi Arabia, including effectively stopping those who may wish to flee the country over human rights abuses,” Senator Abetz said.
“It is incumbent on technology companies, including Apple and Google to carefully consider what should be available through their app stores and I respectfully ask that both companies reconsider permitting this app to be available.”
“Just weeks after we saw Rahaf Muhammad leave the country and be granted asylum in Canada, I believe it’s important to carefully assess how we can best ensure the freedoms of women throughout the Middle East and how to prevent apps, like this one, being used in a way that violates human rights.”
“I am disappointed that once again, the United Nations has been silent on this issue in circumstances where it should be leading the charge – instead, unbelievably, Saudi Arabia has a leading role in the UN Council on Human Rights and the UN Commission for the Status of Women,” Senator Abetz concluded.