• 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.

  • Raif Badawi in 2012.
    Saudi authorities could resume lashing liberal activist and blogger Raif Badawi on June 12, 2015, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 7, Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court upheld a sentence of 10 years and 1,000 lashes against him. Badawi, convicted in 2013 for setting up a liberal website and allegedly insulting religious authorities, has no more appeals. Prior to the Supreme Court review Saudi authorities lashed him 50 times on January 9.

Reports

Saudi Arabia

  • Jun 17, 2015
    Kuwait’s Court of Cassation on June 12, 2015, upheld a six-year sentence for a blogger for tweets criticizing Saudi Arabia.
  • Jun 16, 2015
    Saudi authorities have carried out 100 executions since January 1, compared with 88 in all of 2014, Human Rights Watch said today. Of the 2015 executions, 47 were for nonviolent drug offenses.
  • Jun 15, 2015
  • Jun 11, 2015
  • Jun 11, 2015
    Saudi authorities could resume lashing liberal activist and blogger Raif Badawi on June 12, 2015, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 7, Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court upheld a sentence of 10 years and 1,000 lashes against him. Badawi, convicted in 2013 for setting up a liberal website and allegedly insulting religious authorities, has no more appeals. Prior to the Supreme Court review Saudi authorities lashed him 50 times on January 9.
  • Jun 4, 2015
    Walid al-Ibbi, 35, a barber from Saada city in northwest Yemen, is one of only four members of his family left alive. A few days ago, he sat with me in a garden in Sanaa, the capital, sharing pictures of his late wife and daughters. Over and over he repeated the words, “I can’t believe I’ve lost my family.” He struggled to hold back tears as he read out the names of all 27 of his family members — including 14 children — who were killed when airstrikes by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition hit his father’s house on May 6.
  • Jun 1, 2015
    Saudi authorities have already carried out 90 executions since the beginning of 2015, more than the 88 for all of 2014. Forty-one of the ninety people executed since the start of 2015 were sentenced for non-violent drug offenses.
  • May 31, 2015
    Banned cluster munitions have wounded civilians including a child in attacks in Houthi-controlled territory in northern Yemen.
  • May 22, 2015
    EU High Representative Federica Mogherini should publicly urge Gulf countries to release immediately and unconditionally activists detained for exercising their rights.
  • May 20, 2015
    Human Rights Watch has been conducting research into alleged violations of the laws of war by all parties to the armed conflict in Yemen, including Coalition forces, Ansar Allah (the Houthis), and other armed groups. Our recent research includes a number of airstrikes by Coalition forces that struck the city of Saada and killed and wounded civilians or damaged civilian property.