Saudi Arabia

King Abdullah passed away on January 23, 2015 after a nine-and-a-half year reign and his half-brother Salman bin Abdulaziz became king. Saudi Arabia has pressed on with arbitrary arrests, trials, and convictions of peaceful dissidents, and forcibly dispersed peaceful demonstrations. Authorities continue to discriminate against Saudi women and girls and do not adequately protect the rights of migrant workers. The country’s anti-terrorism regulations can be used to criminalize almost any form of peaceful criticism of the authorities, and dozens of human rights defenders and others are serving long prison sentences for criticizing authorities or demanding political and human rights reforms.