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Convicted for Criticizing Government Abuses

(Beirut) – A leading Saudi human rights figure has died after suffering a stroke on April 9, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. Abdullah al-Hamid, 69, spent the final seven years of his life in prison following his conviction in March…
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Positive Reforms for Women Tainted by Ongoing Arrests of Activists, Dissidents

(Beirut) – Saudi authorities carried out a sweeping campaign of repression against independent dissidents and activists, including two waves of mass arrests, in 2019, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020.    The arrests and…
Women walk past a poster of Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during Janadriyah Cultural Festival on the outskirts of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 12, 2018.
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Arrests, Torture, Murder Accompany Reforms

(Washington, DC) – Important social reforms enacted under Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have been accompanied by deepening repression and abusive practices meant to silence dissidents and critics, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
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Reform Intelligence Services; Free Dissidents; End Abuses

(Beirut) – Following the Saudi government’s belated admission of responsibility for the October 2, 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi, it should move promptly to provide justice for its role in the crime and release jailed government…
Candles lit by activists protesting the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi are placed outside Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul. © 2018 Lefteris Pitarakis/AP Photo
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Court Holds Government Failed to Consider Violations in Yemen

(London) – The Court of Appeal in London ruled on June 20, 2019 that the United Kingdom government’s refusal to consider Saudi Arabia’s laws-of-war violations in Yemen before licensing arms sales was unlawful, Human Rights Watch said…
Destruction at the location of an air strike at Radfan Ceramics Factory, west of Sanaa, Yemen, on September 23, 2015.
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17 Organizations Denounce Threats to Prosecute Journalists Investigating French Arms Sales

(Paris) – Seventeen humanitarian and human rights organizations denounced threats to press freedom after three French journalists were summoned by French intelligence services for investigating the presence of French weapons in the conflict in Yemen,…
People are seen near a bus destroyed by an airstrike that killed dozens of children, in a photograph taken on August 12, 2018 in Saada, Yemen.
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French Arms Sales to Coalition Raise Complicity Concerns

(Paris) – President Emmanuel Macron of France should raise serious concerns with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince regarding laws-of-war violations in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan of the United Arab…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Faj Attan, a densely populated neighborhood in Sanaa, on August 25, 2017. Two of the buildings were completely destroyed and the third suffered extensive damage. Saudi-led coalition aircraft
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Press Visiting Junta Leader to Fulfill Promises on Rights, Democracy

(London) – UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron should press Thailand’s junta leader to respect human rights and ensure a rapid transition to democratic civilian rule, Human Rights Watch said today. Prime Minister Gen…
A Pro-democracy activist holds a fan during protest against junta near Democracy Monument in Bangkok, Thailand February 10, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
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(Beirut) – Lawless armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) morphed into disastrous trends for the region in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its 2018 World Report. “Failed leadership, failed…
Smoke billows behind a building in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on December 3, 2017, during clashes between Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemeni ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. © 2017 Getty Images
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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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Saudi-Led Coalition Closes Yemeni Land, Sea, Air Ports

(Beirut) – The ballistic missile strike by Houthi-Saleh forces in Yemen on Riyadh’s main international airport on November 4, 2017, is most likely a war crime, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi Arabia responded to the attack by…
A still image taken from a video distributed by Yemen's pro-Houthi Al Masirah television station shows what it says was the launch by Houthi forces of a ballistic missile aimed at Riyadh's King Khaled Airport on November 4, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
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Lack of Transparency Underscores Need for International Inquiry

  (Beirut) – Members of the Saudi-led coalition have sought to avoid international legal liability by refusing to provide information on their role in alleged unlawful airstrikes in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today. In 2017, Human…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Sanaa on August 25, 2017, killing at least 16 civilians, including seven children, and wounding another 17, including eight children. After an international outcry, the coalition admitted to
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Leading Bahraini Rights Activist Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

(Beirut) – Gulf governments have sustained their campaigns to silence peaceful critics during the first half of 2017, Human Rights Watch said today, updating an interactive website, created in November 2016, featuring targeted human rights activists. On…
Portraits of online activists in Gulf states.
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UN Envoy Criticizes Abuses Following Visit

(Beirut) – A United Nations official who recently visited Saudi Arabia has criticized the country’s use of its terrorism tribunal and counterterrorism law to unjustly prosecute human rights defenders, writers, and peaceful critics, Human Rights Watch said…
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., September 21, 2016.
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Ongoing Repression of Peaceful Reformers

(Beirut) – Saudi authorities have arrested two independent human rights advocates, most likely because of their peaceful activities, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests of Essam Koshak, 45, and Ahmed al-Musheikhis, 46, are the latest in Saudi…
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Region-Wide Crackdown on Social Media Activism

(Beirut) – Gulf governments have attempted to silence peaceful critics in response to a wave of online activism in recent years, Human Rights Watch said in an interactive website that began operating today. The governments have responded to online…
Portraits of online activists in Gulf states.
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Privacy Violations in Intercepting, Retaining, Sharing Data With NSA

Human Rights Watch and three anonymous individuals filed a complaint today over surveillance by the United Kingdom. The complaint by Human Rights Watch to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) charges its rights had been violated…
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Need UN Inquiry Into Unlawful Attacks by Warring Parties

(Sanaa) – Saudi-led coalition airstrikes that killed at least 65 civilians, including 10 children, and wounded dozens in the Yemeni port city of Mokha on July 24, 2015, are an apparent war crime. Starting between 9:30 and 10 p.m., coalition airplanes…
Men dig through rubble at a residential compound housing employees of the Mokha Steam Power Plant and their families that was struck by six bombs dropped by warplanes of the Saudi-led coalition, killing 57 people in Mokha, Yemen on July 24, 2015.
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Coalition Forces Bomb Houses, Markets in Saada City

(New York) – Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces have carried out airstrikes killing dozens of civilians in Saada City, in northern Yemen, since April 2015 in apparent violation of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
A neighbor, Ayed Ayed Kamil, stands amid the rubble of the destroyed al-Ibbi family home. © 2015 Ole Solvang/Human Rights Watch
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Indiscriminate Attacks Kill 12 Civilians, Wound Over a Dozen

(Beirut) – Pro-Houthi forces have launched apparently dozens of artillery rockets from northern Yemen indiscriminately into southern Saudi Arabia since May 5, 2015. At least 12 civilians have been killed and over a dozen others wounded, Saudi government…