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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. On October 2,…
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Positive Reforms for Women Tainted by Ongoing Arrests of Activists, Dissidents

Click to expand Image Women walk past a poster of Saudi Arabia's…
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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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can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…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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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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Free 5 Pakistanis Still Held After February ‘Morality’ Raid

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia should investigate the death of a Pakistani transgender woman at a Riyadh police station following a raid on an event space in late February 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi authorities should also immediately release…
Transgender activists protest against the rape of two transgender women in Faisalabad.
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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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(New York) - The email came to Human Rights Watch anonymously, late one night. "I am a gay, working in Saudi Arabia ... last night me and my friends were in the shopping mall and suddenly the Saudi police attack us and arrested my friend Mu'ayyad and I…
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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…