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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



June 19, 2019 • Press Release

Saudi Arabia: UN findings on Jamal Khashoggi’s murder highlight need for independent criminal investigation to uncover the truth

Responding to the release of the UN report on the murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which concludes that he was the victim of “an extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under human rights law,” and that “there is credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi officials’ individual liability, including the Crown Prince’s,” Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Research, said:

June 17, 2019 • Press Release

Saudi Arabia: Decision to spare teenager’s life must be followed by abolition of death penalty for all juveniles

Responding to the news that Murtaja Qureiris, the young man from Saudi Arabia arrested at the age of 13, will not face execution and has been sentenced to 12 years in prison instead, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director Lynn Maalouf said the following:

May 24, 2019 • Press Release

Congress Must Not Allow Arms Transfers to Saudi Coalition

Responding to reports that President Trump will attempt to exploit loopholes to continue sending arms to Saudi Arabia and the UAE without Congressional approval, Philippe Nassif, the advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA said the following.

April 9, 2019 • Press Release

Independent UN Investigation Only Path to Accountability for Khashoggi Killing

While Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that 16 Saudis would be barred form entering the United States in response to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Amnesty International reiterated its call for an independent investigation into his death. Philippe Nassif, the Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA, …

April 2, 2019 • Press Release

Saudi Arabia: Six months after the brutal killing of Jamal Khashoggi, there remains ‘no real signs of justice’

Marking six months since the shocking murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Samah Hadid, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Campaigns, said:

March 28, 2019 • Press Release

Saudi Arabia: Provisional release of three women activists a positive step, but bogus charges must be dropped

Responding to the release of three Saudi women activists, Iman al-Nafjan, Aziza al-Yousef and Ruqayyaa al-Mhareb, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Research, said: “The release from jail of Iman al-Najfan, Aziza al-Yousef and Ruqayyah al-Mhareb, who will finally be able to return to their homes and loved ones after their 10-month ordeal of arbitrary …

February 26, 2019 • Report

Human rights in the Middle East and North Africa: A review of 2018

The international community’s chilling complacency towards wide-scale human rights violations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has emboldened governments to commit appalling violations during 2018 by giving them the sense that they need never fear facing justice, said Amnesty International as it published a review of human rights in the region last year. …

January 9, 2019 • Press Release

Thailand: Amnesty welcomes Saudi woman’s refugee protection

Responding to news that the UN have granted refugee status to Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, an 18-year old Saudi woman, and put her forward for resettlement to Australia, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Campaigns Samah Hadid said: “Rahaf’s story sends an important message: people around the world rallied to support her plea for protection, and …

January 7, 2019 • Press Release

Thailand: Don’t deport Saudi woman in grave danger

Responding to reports that Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, an 18-year-old Saudi woman, faces deportation from the transit zone of Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok (Thailand), Samah Hadid, Amnesty’s Middle East Director of Campaigns said:

December 9, 2018 • Report

Oppressive, sexist policies galvanize bold fight for women’s rights in 2018

Women activists around the world have been at the forefront of the battle for human rights in 2018, Amnesty International said today as it launched its review on the state of human rights over the past year. The human rights group also warns that the actions of “tough guy” world leaders pushing misogynistic, xenophobic and …