On April 5, 2021 Abdulrahman al-Sadhan, a 37-year old Red Crescent worker, was sentenced by the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh to 20 years in prison to be followed by a 20-year travel ban on charges relating to the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression, and following a trial marred by violations, including possible torture used to extract a “confession”. The Saudi authorities must grant Abdulrahman al-Sadhan’s immediate and unconditional release.
In March 2021, the Court of Appeals in Riyadh upheld the verdict of Saudi Arabian woman human rights defender Nassima al-Sada, confirming the final sentence of a five-year prison term followed by a five-year travel ban. Nassima al-Sada had appealed the sentence handed down to her on November 25, 2020, which was based on cybercrime laws but failed to specify the exact crimes allegedly committed by the activist. Nassima al-Sada is detained simply for her peaceful activism for civil and political rights, and for her advocacy for women’s rights and the end of the repressive male guardianship system.
On March 10, 2021, the Specialized Criminal Court in Saudi Arabia upheld the conviction of Saudi woman human rights defender Loujain al-Hathloul, confirming a sentence of five years and eight months with conditional release. Loujain al-Hathloul had appealed the sentence handed down to her on December 28, 2020, which was based on charges including “spying with foreign parties” and “conspiring against the Kingdom”, effectively criminalizing her work promoting women’s rights and advocating for the end of the male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia.
The health of 83-year-old Palestinian national detained in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari, has been deteriorating due to the lack of access to adequate health care, including care for his bladder catheterization, compounding bad detention conditions. Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari had undergone surgery and was being treated for prostate cancer when the Saudi authorities arbitrarily arrested him and his son, Dr. Hani al-Khudari on 4 April 2019. One year later, Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari and Dr. Hani al-Khudari were brought before the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) in a mass trial marred by serious due process violations, including being denied adequate access to a lawyer.
Responding to President Joe Biden’s decision to temporarily suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Philippe Nassif, advocacy director for the Middle East and North …
G20 leaders attending this weekend’s virtual summit hosted by Saudi Arabia must take the Saudi authorities to task for their shameless hypocrisy on women’s rights, Amnesty International said today. Women’s empowerment features prominently on Saudi Arabia’s G20 Agenda, despite the fact the activists who spearheaded campaigns for women’s rights are languishing in jail or …
Today, Freedom First, in partnership with Amnesty International USA, covertly projected giant images of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi on the facade of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia and other …
Yemeni LGBTI rights defender Mohamed al-Bokari who has been detained in Malaz Prison in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh since 8 April 2020, attended his first trial session on 20 July. Al-Bokari was charged with violating public morality, promoting homosexuality online and imitating women. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison after which he is to be deported back to his home country, Yemen, where his life is at risk by armed groups. He has had no legal representation throughout his detention and trial.
Amnesty International is calling on King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia to release several notable women’s rights defenders, two years after they were detained. On May 15, 2018, a number of prominent Saudi women’s human rights activists were arrested. They had been peacefully advocating for years for the right of women in the kingdom to drive, as well as broader reforms related to the repressive male guardianship system.
Eight of the eleven activists have been temporarily released but remain on trial for their human rights activism. Activists Loujain al-Hathloul, Nouf Abdulaziz and Maya’a al-Zahrani remain in detention. Despite the temporary release of eight activists, the 11 activists remain at risk of being sentenced to prison for their human rights work.