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Prison Guards Describe Harrowing Scenes Concerning Political Detainees

(Beirut) – New accounts have emerged of alleged torture of high-profile political detainees in Saudi prisons, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi authorities failed to independently and credibly investigate allegations that Saudi authorities tortured…
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Ongoing Repression, Absence of Civil Society Impede Progress

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia recently announced a series of important and necessary reforms, but ongoing repression and a lack of respect for basic rights are major barriers to progress, Human Rights Watch said today. The repression of independent civil…
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on a large billboard in London, England.
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Loujain al-Hathloul, Nouf Abdelaziz Risk Return to Prison if They Speak Out

Prominent Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul was released from prison earlier this week after spending 1,001 days in detention, a testament to the tireless campaign of her family and human rights activists around the globe since her arrest…
Loujain al-Hathloul
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Loujain al-Hathloul Banned from Travel, Faces Suspended Sentence

(Beirut) – Saudi authorities released from prison the prominent women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul on February 10, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. However, she is banned from travel and has a suspended sentence, which allows the…
Loujain al-Hathloul
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Charges Relate Solely to Peaceful Women’s Rights Activism

(Beirut) – Saudi authorities are rushing through the closed trial of the prominent women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul, Human Rights Watch said today. Prosecutors originally charged al-Hathloul, 31, in March 2019 with offenses related…
Prominent women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul had been on hunger strike for six days before Saudi authorities finally allowed her parents to visit on August 31, according to family members. Al-Hathloul had spent almost three months before that in incommunicado detention.
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Risk of Forced Return to Persecution in China

(Beirut) – Saudi authorities should immediately clarify the status of two Chinese Muslim Uyghur men arrested in Saudi Arabia on November 20, 2020, and disclose the basis for their detentions, Human Rights Watch said today. The Saudi authorities should…
Mohammed bin Salman
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New Human Rights Watch Campaign Against Whitewashing Rights Violations

(Beirut) – The Saudi government has spent billions of dollars hosting major entertainment, cultural, and sporting events as a deliberate strategy to deflect from the country’s image as a pervasive human rights violator, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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Safety Concerns for Activists, Ex-Crown Prince, Cleric

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia has denied some prominent detainees contact with their family members and lawyers for months, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter requesting access to the country and private prison visits with detainees. The situation…
Prominent women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul had been on hunger strike for six days before Saudi authorities finally allowed her parents to visit on August 31, according to family members. Al-Hathloul had spent almost three months before that in incommunicado detention.
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Death Penalty Ended for Some Child Offenders, Flogging for Certain Crimes

UPDATE: On April 28, the governmental Saudi Human Rights Commission issued a statement confirming that child offenders convicted of terrorism crimes would be spared the death penalty, but remains unclear whether they would benefit from…
Ali al-Nimr was one of at least three Saudi men on death row for protest-related crimes committed when they were children.
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Unwarranted Amid Health Risks, Global Travel Restrictions

(Beirut) – People in immigration detention in Gulf countries pending deportation should be given alternatives to detention amid health risks and global travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today.…
A worker rests at his accommodation in Qadisiya labor camp, Saudi Arabia August 17, 2016.
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Previous Campaign Marred by Lack of Due Process, Torture Allegations

  (Beirut) – Saudi Arabia’s new mass arrest of 298 government employees on suspicion of corruption raises human rights concerns, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi…
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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Trafficking, Exploitation, Torture, Abusive Prison Conditions

(Addis Ababa) – Ethiopians undertaking the perilous journey by boat across the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden face exploitation and torture in Yemen by a network of trafficking groups, Human Rights Watch said today. They also encounter abusive prison…
African migrants receive food and water inside a football stadium in the Red Sea port city of Aden in Yemen, on April 23, 2019. © AFP/Getty Images
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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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Resolve ‘Disappearances’, Grant Access to Detention Sites

(Beirut) – The UAE supports Yemeni forces that have arbitrarily detained, forcibly disappeared, tortured, and abused dozens of people during security operations, Human Rights Watch said today. The UAE finances, arms, and trains these forces, which…
Hadrami elite forces guard Mukalla from Al-Qaeda by creating check-points.
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Saudi Arabia's new terrorism law might look like a step forward, if only because it's written down. Saudi Arabia is one of the few countries with no written criminal penal code, and the penal regulations that authorities have issued are so vague that…
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Denied Bail, Family Fears for His Health

(Beirut) – Saudi authorities should ensure a fair trial for the Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, Human Rights Watch said today. Criminal justice authorities should make sure he gets immediate access to adequate medical care for gunshot wounds received during his…
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Khaled al-Natour, Held Incommunicado, Should be Charged or Freed

(Beirut) – Saudi authorities should immediately disclose the whereabouts and condition of the Jordanian activist Khaled al-Natour, and free him or charge him with a recognizable criminal offense. Saudi security forces detained al-Natour at King Khaled…
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Continuing Detention Violates Arab Human Rights Charter, Saudi Laws

(New York) - Saudi authorities should release insolvent debtors from jail, including Tariq Yunis al-Mashharawi, who has been held in Buraiman Prison in Jeddah for close to four years, Human Rights Watch said today. Al-Mashharawi is being held on a court…
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Shias Face Systematic Discrimination in Religion, Education, Justice, and Employment

(New York) - Saudi authorities should treat minority Shia Muslims as equal citizens, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Saudi government also should create commissions to investigate arbitrary arrests of Shia and to recommend steps to…
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Indefinite Detention, Inappropriate Reeducation, and Flawed Trials

(New York) - Saudi Arabia has detained indefinitely more than 9,000 people under its counterterrorism program since 2003, offering many religious "reeducation" instead of judicial review to attain their freedom Human Rights Watch said in a report issued…