Saudi Arabia

New wave of arrests a deadly blow for human rights - NEWS - 18/09/2017

In the week up to 15 September 2017, the Saudi Arabian authorities have intensified their crackdown on freedom of expression, detaining more than 20 prominent religious figures, writers, journalists, academics and activists. Read more.

Over the weekend of 16-17 September, Abdulaziz al-Shubaily and Issa al-Hamid, both founding members of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association were also detained. Read more.

Abdulaziz had been informed on 31 July that his eight year prison sentence had been upheld by the Court of Appeal in Riyadh. He is a prisoner of conscience and should be immediately and unconditionally released. Take action.

Five ways to deliver true human rights reform - NEWS - 27/10/2017
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al Saud has made a public vow to 'modernise' Saudi Arabia signalling key reforms could be on the agenda. There are five crucial things the authorities urgently need to do to prove they are truly committed to reform:
  • End use of the death penalty.
  • Stop cracking down on freedom of expression.
  • Stop persecuting the Shi'a minority.
  • End systematic discrimination against women.
  • Stop killing civilians in Yemen conflict.

Writer released - GOOD NEWS - URGENT ACTION UPDATE - 17/11/2017
On 23 June 2017, Dr Zuhair Kutbi, was released after serving two years in prison. He remains banned from travelling and writing on social media. The conditions of his release are unknown. Read more.

Death toll reaches 100 in execution spree - NEWS - 02/10/2017
On 2 October 2017, a man was executed in Saudi Arabia bringing the total number of people put to death so far in 2017 to 100, with 60 people executed in the last three months. Read more.

Death penalty used as a political weapon - NEWS - 12/07/2017
The Saudi Arabian government is employing the death penalty as a political weapon to silence dissent, Amnesty International has said, following the execution of four Shi'a men in the Eastern Province on 11 July 2017. As of 24 July 2017 at least 66 people had been executed in Saudi Arabia. Read more.

Execution looms for teen tortured to 'confess' - URGENT ACTION UPDATE - 18/09/2017
Abdulkareem al-Hawaj, a Shi'a man who was convicted of offences committed when he was 16-years-old, has had his death sentence 
upheld by the Supreme Court on 11 September 2017 meaning he has exhausted all his appeals and faces execution as soon as King Salman ratifies his sentence, which could happen at any time. Abdulkareem claims he was tortured to 'confess' his alleged crimes. Read more.

Amnesty International also remains extremely concerned about the impending execution of three other young men arrested as teenagers and sentenced to death. 
Ali al-Nimr, Abdullah al-Zaher and Dawood al-Marhoon have exhausted all of their appeals and are at risk of execution at any time. All three were arrested when they were under the age of 18 and say they 'confessed' following torture. Read more.

Take action:

  • Send a Tweet:
    • I call on  @KingSalman to STOP execution of juvenile offenders in #Saudi. #stoptorture
    • Demand @KingSalman halts executions of young activists who say they were tortured to 'confess'! #stoptorture
    • .@KingSalman justice is in your hands. Abdullah al-Zaher's mother's heart is breaking - spare his life today!
    • We urge @KingSalman to spare the life of Abdulkareem al-Hawaj, arrested aged 16, now on death row
    • #Ali_AlNimr says he was tortured to 'confess', now he's been sentenced to death: @KingSalman end the injustice now!
    • Dawood al-Marhoon’s mum says we cannot lose hope & we won’t! Urge @KingSalman to save him from execution
Read a blog written by their mothers to mark Mother's Day in Saudi Arabia.

14 protesters facing imminent execution - NEWS - 06/06/2017 - ACTION - 25/07/2017
Fourteen Saudi Arabian men are at imminent risk of execution after their families learned on 23 July 2017 that the Supreme Court has ratified their death sentences. The men had been transferred to Riyadh on 15 July. The men were sentenced to death on 1 June 2016 after a grossly unfair trial based on 'confessions' they said were obtained under torture. The Court of Appeal of the Specialised Criminal Court upheld the sentences in May 2017. An online action is available.

Earlier, Amnesty International together with Human Rights Watch had called on the Saudi Arabian authorities to immediately quash the death sentences. Read more.

Man executed after unfair trial - URGENT ACTION UPDATE - 29/09/2017
Said Mabkhout al-Sai'ari was executed on 13 September 2017 in the General prison of Najran, southwestern Saudi Arabia, where he had been detained. He was sentenced to death in December 2013 for the murder of a man, despite the court concluding that there was not enough evidence to convict him. Read more.

Man executed - URGENT ACTION UPDATE - 18/07/2017
Yussuf al-Mushaikhass was executed on 11 July 2017 without his family being informed. His death sentence was handed down following a grossly unfair trial at Saudi Arabia's counter terror court. Read more.

Right to drive is a long overdue step for women - NEWS - 27/09/2017
On 26 September 2017, the Saudi Arabian government announced that women would be allowed to drive. The decree will not come into force before 23 June 2018 and it is not clear how exactly it will be implemented in practice. Read more.

Release Raif Badawi - NEWS - 16/06/2017 - BLOG 17/06/2017
To mark the fifth anniversary of the arrest of Raif Badawi, a blogger and prisoner of conscience, Amnesty International is renewing its call for his immediate and unconditional release. Read more.

The following Tweet can be sent to the Saudi Arabian authorities:
  • .@KingSalman blogging is not a crime! I urge you to #FreeRaif today! @Raif_Badawi
Raif's children have written a blog to mark the anniversary.

Sheikh Tawfiq: My father - BLOG - 14/08/2017
Sheikh Tawfiq al-Amr is a prominent Shi'a Muslim cleric who is serving an eight year prison sentence after being jailed in 2014 for criticising discrimination against the Shi'a community and calling for reforms. On the third anniversary of his sentencing his son has written a blog telling their story.

'Imprisoned for standing up for human rights'  - CAMPAIGNS - ACTION - 04/08/2017
Mohammad al-Qahtani, a human rights defender and founding member of the Civil and Political Rights Association is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for peacefully calling for reforms. On 23 April 2017 his mother passed away and he was offered three days' compassionate leave from prison to attend her funeral. Mohammad, however, chose to refuse the offer in protest of his ongoing unfair detention.

To mark his seventeenth birthday his son, Omar, wrote to his father here.

His wife, Maha, also wrote this letter to him and you can watch the following video about Mohammad and his family.

The following Tweet can be sent to the Saudi Arabian authorities:
  • Defending human rights is not a crime! Mohammad al-Qahtani should not be in prison. @KingSalman, release him now!

UK court ruling a 'deadly blow' to Yemeni civilians - NEWS - 10/07/2017
A United Kingdom court ruling that the United Kingdom government is entitled to continue authorising arms supplies to Saudi Arabia is a potentially deadly setback to Yemeni civilians. Read more.

Release prisoners of conscience - PUBLIC STATEMENT - 30/06/2017
Amnesty International is calling on Mohammad bin Salman al Saud to use his new authority as crown prince to match his words with actions and demonstrate his commitment to human rights by releasing detained human rights defenders and other prisoners of conscience held solely on account of their peaceful exercise of  their right to freedom of expression, association and assembly. Read more.

Activist at risk of torture - NEWS - 30/05/2017
Mohammad al-Otaibi, a human rights activist, has been detained incommunicado since 28 May 2017. On the night of 24 May, the persecuted activist was en route to Norway, where he had been granted refugee status, when Qatari authorities arrested him in Doha airport and deported him back to Saudi Arabia. Amnesty International is calling on the Saudi authorities to ensure he is immediately released. He is a prisoner of conscience and is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Read more.

Trump's visit risks giving green light to human rights violations - NEWS - 19/05/2017
During President Trump's first foreign visit, counter-terrorism and security has dominated the discussions with Gulf and Arab state leaders. The glaring absence of human rights from the agenda will only embolden further violations in a region where governments flout the rights of their own people in the name of the fight against terror, and violate international humanitarian law in conflicts fueled in large part by United States arms transfers. Read more.

The following article was published in Newsweek.

Amnesty documents

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Updated 07/11/2017

Country coordinator - Paul Dawson -