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Macron Should Address Rights Abuses in Gulf Region

This week, French President Emmanuel Macron will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with a large delegation of French ministers and major business executives. In the UAE, he will apparently be finalizing a weapons deal, when…
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Migrant Workers Face Abuse and Exploitation

There are reports this week that Saudi authorities are seeking to abolish the notorious kafala (sponsorship) system in 2021. Under that system, some 10 million migrant workers’ legal status are tied to their employer—facilitating abuse and…
Trapped in Employer's home
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Pervasive Discrimination Against Shia Persists

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has recently made moves likely to appeal to the country’s Shia minority. This includes neutering the country’s once-powerful religious establishment, which has spewed anti-Shia vitriol and…
Illustration of a sword made out of writing © 2017 Adam Maida for Human Rights Watch
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While Saudi Arabia Fights Yemen War Crimes Investigation

This week Saudi Arabia and its allies in Geneva are blustering and threatening other countries to try to defeat a UN Human Rights Council resolution that would set up an independent investigation into war crimes by all parties –…
MENA 2015 Bahrain Nabeel Rajab
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The least surprising aspect of the recent diplomatic dust-up between Sweden and Saudi Arabia is the Kingdom’s typically thin-skinned response to anyone calling them out over their atrocious human rights record. What is surprising is Sweden’s resolve not…
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The latest episode of Saudi Arabia’s unrelenting assault on freedom of expression is the Jeddah Criminal Court’s May 7, 2014 conviction of liberal activist Raif Badawi. The court sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment and 1000 lashes for setting up a…
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Yesterday, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia inked an agreement that says Indonesian women working in Saudi homes will be able to keep their passports, communicate with their families, get paid monthly, and have time off. The new pact comes in the wake of years…
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For a brief moment today, there looked to be some respite to Saudi Arabia’s relentless crackdown against independent activists.  But the moment, like too many in Saudi, quickly passed. The day started with the surprise announcement that authorities had…