This report is based on research conducted in Saudi Arabia in December 2006, with additional research based on visits in January 2003, February 2006, and May 2007. Follow-up research, the analysis of legal documents and writing took place throughout 2007. Christoph Wilcke of the Middle East and North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch is the principal researcher and author of this report.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to those Saudi and foreign nationals who mustered the courage to contact us during our visits to the kingdom to share their stories. Many turned to Human Rights Watch for lack of other effective means of redress. With few exceptions they expressed fear of government retaliation for speaking to Human Rights Watch. To protect these persons, some of whom are in detention, we have substituted pseudonyms for their real names.

Joe Stork, acting director of the Middle East and North Africa Division and Ian Gorvin, senior program officer in the Program Office, edited the report. Aisling Reidy, senior legal advisor, provided legal review. Amr Khairy, Arabic language website and translation coordinator, provided assistance with translation into Arabic. Assef Ashraf and Ross Halbert, associates for the Middle East and North Africa Division, prepared this report for publication. Additional production assistance was provided by Andrea Holley, director of publications, Grace Choi, publications specialist, and Fitzroy Hepkins, mail manager.