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24th February 2020, 15:42:23 UTC

In Saudi Arabia, the authorities have unleashed an intense crackdown on citizens promoting change, including economists, teachers, clerics, writers and activists.

Brave women rights activists, Loujain al-Hathloul, Nassima al-Sada and Samar Badawi remain in detention simply for demanding equality and defending human rights.

Strikingly, since 2017 the Saudi authorities have targeted virtually all human rights defenders and other government critics through arbitrary arrests, torture and prosecutions before the Specialised Criminal Court and other courts. This court acts to legitimise this oppression.

Most were prosecuted for their peaceful human rights work and calls for reforms. Among them are all the founding members and supporters of four independent human rights groups that have been shut by the authorities. The famous blogger, Raif Badawi is languishing in prison since 2012 with the threat of 1000 lashes hanging over his head. Many activists and independent thinkers have fled the country to avoid such persecution.

Peaceful activists, religious clerics, and members of the Shi’a minority are often unfairly tried, given lengthy prison sentences, and even sentenced to death based on “confessions” extracted under torture. Several have been executed.

The government of Saudi Arabia is trying to improve its image, investing millions of dollars in a public relations campaign masking the campaign of repression, intolerance and human rights violations.

In November 2020 Saudi Arabia will host the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Riyadh, where the wealthiest and most powerful countries address global issues. This is an opportunity to increase the pressure on King Salman and the Saudi government to undertake meaningful human rights reforms.

Make the King listen!

Sign the petition to demand that the King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman immediately and unconditionally releases all those who have been imprisoned for peacefully protesting. Take action now.

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