• Saudi Arabia has stepped up arrests, trials, and convictions of peaceful dissidents, and forcibly dispersed peaceful demonstrations by citizens. Authorities continued to violate the rights of Saudi women and girls and foreign workers. Authorities subjected thousands of people to unfair trials and arbitrary detention. Courts convicted human rights defenders and others for peaceful expression or assembly demanding political and human rights reforms.
  • A Saudi court on July 6, 2014, sentenced the prominent human rights activist Waleed Abu al-Khair to 15 years in prison. The court convicted him on vague charges that stem solely from his peaceful activism, including statements to news media and tweets criticizing human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia.

Reports

Saudi Arabia

  • Jul 7, 2014
    A Saudi court on July 6, 2014, sentenced the prominent human rights activist Waleed Abu al-Khair to 15 years in prison. The court convicted him on vague charges that stem solely from his peaceful activism, including statements to news media and tweets criticizing human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia.
  • Jun 27, 2014
    Saudi Arabia’s government should clarify whether it is infecting and monitoring mobile phones with surveillance malware. Saudi officials should also say whether and how they intend to protect the rights of those targeted to privacy and free expression.
  • May 15, 2014
    Saudi authorities should immediately release two citizens held without charge for two years because of their religious beliefs. Officials arrested Sultan al-`Anzi, 33, and Sa`ud al-`Anzi, 35, on May 14, 2012, and have not responded to multiple requests from Human Rights Watch and an organization for the Ahmadiyya Muslim religious group for information on their whereabouts and condition.
  • May 9, 2014
    The latest episode of Saudi Arabia's unrelenting assault on freedom of expression is the Jeddah Criminal Court's conviction of liberal activist Raif Badawi. The court sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment and 1,000 lashes for setting up a liberal website and allegedly insulting Islam and religious authorities.
  • May 7, 2014
  • May 2, 2014
    King Juan Carlos is visiting Kuwait and Bahrain this week, after Abu Dhabi and Qatar two weeks ago in a series of visits to the gulf region that will also take him to Oman and Saudi Arabia over the next two months. He is traveling with a high-level delegation that includes the ministers of foreign affairs, transport, defense and energy, as well as the heads of some of Spain’s biggest companies.
  • Apr 26, 2014
    Vague provisions of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) joint security agreement raise concerns. Member countries could use the agreement to suppress free expression and undermine privacy rights of citizens and residents.
  • Apr 17, 2014
    Saudi authorities should immediately release prominent human rights activist Waleed Abu al-Khair and drop all charges against him.
  • Apr 11, 2014
    In a welcome move that could advance rights for women and girls, Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council has directed the Education Ministry to study the possibility of introducing physical education for girls in Saudi public schools. The council, the kingdom’s highest consultative body, voted overwhelmingly – 92 votes to 18 – in favor of the recommendation, but the Ministry of Education must draft and present regulations, and the Shura Council and Cabinet must approve them before sports for girls in public schools becomes a reality, Human Rights Watch said.
  • Mar 31, 2014