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Saudi Arabia Human Rights

Faced with rising calls for political reform, Saudi Arabian authorities have responded with repressive measures against those suspected of taking part in or supporting protests or expressing views critical of the state. Protesters have been held without charge and incommunicado for days or weeks at a time, and some are reported to have been tortured and otherwise ill-treated. Nearly 20 people connected with protests in the Eastern Province have been killed since 2011 and hundreds have been imprisoned.

Other human rights concerns include the death penalty, with more than 2,000 people executed between 1985 and 2013; the arrest, imprisonment and harassment of large members of the Shi’a Muslim community and other minority groups; long-standing exploitation and abuse of migrant workers by private and state employers; and continued discrimination against women in law and practice.

Saudi Arabia Newsroom



November 20, 2018 • Press Release

Reports of torture and sexual harassment of detained activists in Saudi Arabia

Several Saudi Arabian activists, including a number of women, who have been arbitrarily detained without charge since May 2018 in Saudi Arabia’s Dhahban Prison, have reportedly faced sexual harassment, torture and other forms of ill-treatment during interrogation, Amnesty International said today. According to three separate testimonies obtained by the organization, the activists were repeatedly tortured by …

November 7, 2018 • Press Release

Huthi gunmen raid hospital as Hodeidah’s civilians face imminent onslaught in Yemen

Civilians in Yemen’s western port city of Hodeidah will pay a terrible price amid the battle engulfing their city unless warring parties act immediately to protect them from the fighting, Amnesty International warned today. In an extremely worrying development, Huthi fighters arrived at a hospital in Hodeidah and recently took up positions atop a hospital roof, placing numerous civilians …

October 29, 2018 • Press Release

Leading journalists demand justice for Jamal Khashoggi

Leading journalists from around the world pay tribute to Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi Arabian journalist who was murdered by Saudi state agents at the country’s consulate in Istanbul this month, by reading portions of his final Washington Post column in a video released today by Amnesty International. Jake Tapper of CNN, Nick Kristof of the New York …

October 20, 2018 • Press Release

Saudi Arabia: Independent investigation into Jamal Khashoggi’s death is urgently needed

Responding to the Saudi public prosecution’s investigation findings revealing that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi died after a ‘fist-fight’ inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Samah Hadid, Amnesty International’s Middle East director of campaigns said: “We are shocked and saddened by the dreadful news confirming the death of Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate. The investigation findings …

October 18, 2018 • Press Release

Turkey: Seek UN Inquiry on Khashoggi

Turkey should urgently ask UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to establish a United Nations investigation into the possible extrajudicial execution of the prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Reporters Without Borders said today. The investigation should determine the circumstances surrounding Saudi Arabia’s role in the enforced …

October 7, 2018 • Press Release

Alleged assassination of Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Consulate in Istanbul would set abysmal new low

Responding to reports alleging that Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside his country’s consulate in Istanbul, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director Lynn Maalouf said:

August 22, 2018 • Press Release

Saudi Arabia: Appalling plan to execute female activist must be stopped

Responding to news that Saudi Arabia is seeking the death penalty for five individuals who face trial before Saudi Arabia’s counter-terror court, including Israa al-Ghomgham, who would be the first woman ever to face the death penalty simply for participating in protests, Samah Hadid, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Campaigns, said:

August 1, 2018 • Press Release

Amnesty International staff targeted with malicious spyware

An Amnesty International staff member has been targeted by a sophisticated surveillance campaign, in what the organization suspects was a deliberate attempt to spy on its staff by a government hostile to its work. In early June 2018, an Amnesty International staff member received a suspicious WhatsApp message in Arabic. The text contained details about …

June 8, 2018 • Press Release

Yemen: ICRC withdrawal marks ‘bleak’ new low in conflict that devastates civilians

In response to a decision by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to pull 71 staff out of Yemen due to ongoing insecurity, threats and blocks to their work, Samah Hadid, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Campaigns, said: “It is an unquestionably bleak moment when humanitarian workers, who are in Yemen to save lives, …

June 1, 2018 • Press Release

Saudi Arabia: International community cannot afford to remain silent about detained women’s rights activists

The international community and allies of the Saudi Arabian government must speak up to help secure the immediate and unconditional release of the women’s rights defenders currently detained in Saudi Arabia, Amnesty International said today. More than two weeks have now passed since a number of prominent women’s rights activists, including Loujain al-Hathloul, Iman al-Nafjan …