• Saudis are increasingly and openly discussing government affairs on Twitter and Facebook-a ban on women driving, arbitrary detention of peaceful dissidents and terror suspects, and corruption, among others-but the government in 2011 banned public protests, tightened press laws, and arrested scores of peaceful rights advocates and protesters. Saudi Arabia struggles with a poorly defined and nontransparent justice system based on religion that metes out draconian sentences. Women and minority Shia citizens face systematic discrimination. Immigration and labor restrictions on migrant workers facilitate widespread abuse. Western countries remained largely silent about poor rights conditions in the kingdom.

  • A Saudi man explores a website on his laptop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on February 11, 2014.
    Saudi authorities sentenced several leading human rights activists and other reform advocates to lengthy jail terms in 2014 for their peaceful activism, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015.


Saudi Arabia