Saudi authorities in 2017 continued to arbitrarily arrest, try, and convict peaceful dissidents. Dozens of human rights defenders and activists are serving long prison sentences for criticizing authorities or advocating political and rights reforms. Authorities systematically discriminate against women and religious minorities. In 2016, Saudi Arabia carried out 154 executions, 23 for non-violent drug crimes. On January 2, 2016, Saudi Arabia executed 47 men for terrorism-related offenses, including prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, who was convicted following a deeply flawed trial. A Saudi-led coalition continued an airstrike campaign against Houthi forces in Yemen that included the use of banned cluster munitions and apparently unlawful strikes that killed civilians.
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