Amnesty International: Saudi Arabia Human Rights
Human Rights Concerns
The authorities used a wide range of repressive measures to suppress freedom of expression and other legitimate activities. Hundreds of people were arrested as suspected terrorists. Thousands of others arrested in the name of security in previous years remained in jail; they included prisoners of conscience. Some 330 security suspects received unfair trials before a newly constituted but closed specialized court; one was sentenced to death and 323 were sentenced to terms of imprisonment.
Violations in the Name of Counter-Terrorism
Since September 11, 2001, thousands have been arrested and subjected to a secretive and abusive system. Many people have been detained for months or years without any way to legally challenge their detention, with reports of torture and ill-treatment. Peaceful critics of the government have been detained.
The death penalty is applied for a wide range of crimes, including offenses such as apostasy, sorcery, and blasphemy. Death sentences for juveniles persist, even though Saudi Arabia is a party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Trials are often unfair, with defendants often having little or no legal representation. Death sentences have been carried out by beheading.
Severe discrimination against women and girls continues and inadequate protections against violence, including domestic violence. Women remain unequal under family law, were denied equal employment opportunities, and banned from driving or traveling alone. Unlike men, Saudi Arabian women who marry non-Saudi nationals cannot pass Saudi Arabian nationality to their children.
Unfair Trials, Torture, Ill-Treatment
Trials are often unfair, with defendants often having little or no legal representation. There are frequent reports of torture and ill-treatment. Cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishments such as flogging are mandatory for some offenses.
Violations of Humanitarian Law in Yemen
In 2009, Saudi Arabia has deployed military against the armed Huhti group in northern Yemen, after conflict in Yemen spilled over the border. Heavy bombing in Sa’dah is reported to have killed hundreds of people and damaged homes, buildings, and infrastructure. Testimonies of people interviewed by Amnesty International allege indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on civilians in the fighting. For more information, Yemen: Cracking Down Under Pressure (2010)
Migrants, Refugees, and Asylum-Seekers
The rights of refugees and asylum-seekers have been violated, with some held as virtual prisoners and others forcibly returned to countries where they are at risk for serious human rights violations. The rights of migrant workers are widely abused. Domestic workers, mostly women, have faced abusive conditions such as 18-hour working days and little or no pay. They have no protection under Saudi Arabian labor law.
There is more freedom of the press than most realize and the conversation for reforms .. like women driving goes on..
The way things work in Arabia is to wait for a groundswell... a consensus that overcomes the clerics' objections..
So, when the Al Saud, the merchant families, the technocrats, etc come into agreement .. things change.
On the agenda currently are reforms re: women driving, sports for women and girls and setting a minumum age for marriage for women...
Last edited by Margot; May 13 2012 at 08:44 AM.
Saudi Arabia is NOT brutal.. its traditional.
Monarchies in the ME if they are benevolent have fared far better than Republics and/or dictatorships.
The Al Saud has a track record over the past 70 years of solid progress in healthcare, education and standard of living... because they take their responsibilities for the future of the Saudi people very seriously.
They have a sacred obligation to insure future social and economic progress.
Amnesty International has never accepted an invitation to visit KSA and much of their information is scond hand.. Typically a someone gets caught bootlegging or running prostitutes or porn .. and the outcry goes up that they are being incarcerated because they are "Christians"..
The other problem is overstayers who come in on Haj visas ..
The Saudis have been fighting terrorism for well over a decade and have become HUGE assets to the US anti-terrorism efforts.