• 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.


Saudi Arabia

  • Dec 2, 2014
    Saudi authorities detained two women on the Saudi side of the border with the United Arab Emirates on December 1, one of whom tried to drive a car across to Saudi Arabia.
  • Nov 22, 2014
    Saudi authorities are ramping up their crackdown on people who peacefully criticize the government on the Internet. The government should end the crackdown and live up to its obligations to respect free speech.
  • Nov 6, 2014
  • Oct 16, 2014
    Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court sentenced a prominent Shia cleric to death on October 15, 2014. Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was convicted on a host of vague charges, based largely on his peaceful criticism of Saudi officials. Al-Nimr has a wide following in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, where most of the country’s Shia minority live.
  • Sep 23, 2014
  • Sep 23, 2014
    Saudi Arabia should immediately make public the legal basis for detaining hundreds of people, and reveal what steps it is taking to end the practice of arbitrary detention, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef Al Sa`ud.
  • Sep 17, 2014
    Saudi Arabia’s failure to include women on its team to compete in the Asian Games in South Korea in September 2014 is a backward step for women’s participation in sport, Human Rights Watch said today. A member of the Saudi Olympic committee said on September 4 that the kingdom plans to send women to compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. But Saudi officials should make clear what steps they are taking to ensure that women are included in other future competitions and are able to participate in sports generally.
  • Sep 9, 2014
    Saudi courts have sentenced two men to death and five others to long prison terms after trials that made a mockery of due process. Authorities charged all seven following protests by members of the Shia minority in 2011 and 2012 in Eastern Province towns that resulted in hundreds of arrests.
  • Aug 20, 2014
    Saudi Arabia has executed at least 19 people since August 4, 2014, Human Rights Watch said today. Local news reports indicate that eight of those executed were convicted of nonviolent offenses, seven for drug smuggling and one for sorcery.
  • Aug 16, 2014
    Saudi authorities on August 11, 2014, forcibly moved an imprisoned rights activist to another prison almost 1,000 kilometers away from his family. Since the arrest of Waleed Abu al-Khair in April, authorities have moved him five times, shuffling him in and out of several facilities, sometimes without explanation. In the latest move, the authorities initially refused to tell his family where he was. He was allowed to call only 24 hours later.