Saudi Arabia

Suspend Saudi Arabia from UN Human Rights Council - NEWS -29/06/2016

On 29 June 2016, Amnesty International issued a joint statement with Human Rights Watch regarding the 'gross and systematic violations of human rights' committed by Saudi Arabia at home and abroad and the fact that it has used its position on the United Nations Human Rights Council to effectively obstruct justice for possible war crimes. Read more. The joint statement can be found here.

Read an opinion piece published in Newsweek.

Amnesty has identified three major areas where Saudi Arabia is abusing human rights. Read more.

Previously, Amnesty had stated that the credibility of the United Nations was on the line after it shamefully caved in to pressure to remove the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition from the United Nation's list of states and armed groups that violates children's rights in conflict. Read more

Amnesty International was one of a number of NGOs to write an open letter to the secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. Read more.

Amnesty International's submission to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child can be found here.

Amnesty International's written statement on Saudi Arabia to the 32nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council can be found here.

100th person executed - PRESS RELEASE - 22/07/2016   
On 22 July 2016, the Saudi Press Agency reported that Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Interior announced that an execution had taken place that day which brought the total number of executions carried out so far in 2016 to at least 100. At least 158 people were executed in 2015, the highest number since 1995. Read more.

Ali al-Nimr, Abdullah al-Zaher and Dawood al-Marhoon are three young men at imminent risk of execution. All three were arrested when they were under the age of 18 and say they 'confessed' following torture.

Take action:

  • Send a Tweet:
    • I call on  @KingSalman to STOP execution of juvenile offenders in #Saudi. #Ali_AlNimr #stoptorture
    • Demand @KingSalman halts executions of young activists who say they were tortured to 'confess'! #stoptorture
    • No justice in executions. @kingsalman save Ali, Dawood, Abdullah facing death in Saudi #stoptorture
Ali al-Nimr's mother tells their story here.

Another ACPRA member sentenced to prison - URGENT ACTION - 17/06/2016
Abdulaziz al-Shubaily, a human rights defender, was convicted and sentenced on 29 May 2016 to eight years in prison by the Specialised Criminal Court in Riyadh for his peaceful human rights activism. He is a founding member of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association and, if imprisoned, will be a prisoner of conscience. Take action.

Medical care granted to Waleed Abu al-Khair - URGENT ACTION UPDATE - 14/06/2016
Waleed Abu al-Khair, a human rights lawyer and defender, ended his hunger strike on 12 June 2016 after being given access to medical care. He had begun his hunger strike five days earlier to highlight his ill-treatment in detention. Waleed Abu al-Khair is a prisoner of conscience serving a 15-year sentence for his peaceful activism. Take action.

Activist sentenced by anti-terror court - NEWS - 24/04/2016 - URGENT ACTION UPDATE - 02/06/2016
Issa al-Hamid, a human rights defender and founding member of the independent Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, was sentenced to nine years in prison followed by a nine years travel ban by the Specialised Criminal Court in Riyadh for his peaceful human rights activism in the latest example of Saudi Arabia's ruthless onslaught against civil society in the Kingdom. Read more. Take action.

Activist sentenced by counter-terrorism court - NEWS - 29/05/2016
Abdulaziz al-Shubaily, a founding member of the independent Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, was sentenced to eight years in prison on 29 May 2016 as the Saudi Arabian authorities continued their relentless efforts to stamp out independent human rights activism. He was tried at the Specialised Criminal Court and sentenced under a repressive counter-terrorism law on charges including 'communicating with foreign organisations' and providing information to Amnesty International. Read more.

Journalist sentenced - NEWS 25/03/2016 - URGENT ACTION UPDATE - 31/03/2016
Alaa Brinji, a journalist, was sentenced on 24 March 2106 to five years in prison, an eight-year travel ban and a fine of 50,000 Saudi Arabian riyals for a series of tweets in a clear violation of international law and the latest demonstration of the Saudi Arabian authorities deep-seated intolerance of the right of peaceful expression.

At his trial at the Specialised Criminal Court in Riyadh his charges included apostasy which had put him at risk of being sentenced to death. He had been denied access to a lawyer and is a prisoner of conscience. Take action. Read more.

Human rights activist released - GOOD NEWS - URGENT ACTION UPDATE - 06/04/2016
Issa al-Nukheifi, a human rights activist and member of the independent Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, was released on 6 April 2016 after serving his prison sentence of three years and eight months. He remains banned from travelling for four years and from using social media. Read more.

A dark year for human rights - REPORT - 22/01/2016
King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud's first year in power has seen the country's human rights record deteriorate markedly. The Saudi Arabian authorities have pursued a ruthless crackdown on all forms of dissent, increased their use of the death penalty and maintained practices that discriminate against the country's Shi'a Muslim minority. The kingdom's military has also repeatedly violated the rules of war in its military campaign in Yemen. The only area of limited improvement is with regards to women's rights. Read more.

States must stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia - NEWS - 26/02/2016 - ACTION - 29/01/2016
Amnesty International has joined other campaigners in calling on governments attending discussions on the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty to set their hypocrisy aside and stop selling billions of dollars worth of deadly weapons to Saudi Arabia which are being used to attack Yemeni civilians. Read more.

In the third quarter of 2015 the UK granted over £1bn worth of arms export licences to Saudi Arabia according to newly published figures released by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. This was despite overwhelming evidence of massive human rights violations committed by the Saudi-led coalition in its aerial bombing campaign in Yemen. More information.

Amnesty is calling on the United Kingdom government to halt all arms exports to Saudi Arabia where the weapons are at risk of being used in the Yemen conflict to commit violations of international law. Take action. Sign the petition.

Six ways you can help activists in Saudi Arabia - ACTION - 07/01/2016
This document suggests different ways you can help activists in Saudi Arabia.
Actions include:
  • Calling for Raif Badawi's immediate release.
  • Helping to free Waleed Abu al-Khair.
  • Tweet to save young activists from execution.
  • Demand the release of other human rights activists.
  • Get your government to pressure Saudi Arabia.
  • Pressure the Saudi Arabia embassy in your country.

Amnesty documents

  2016          2015

Updated 15/08/2016

Country coordinator - Paul Dawson - paul.dawson@amnesty.org.uk