Saudi Arabia - Latest Press Releases

Saudi Arabia: Specialised Criminal Court Sentences Man to Death after Severely Flawed Trial

KSA - News | 25 November 2016

On 28 July 2016, the Specialised Criminal Court (SCC) of Riyadh sentenced Abdelkarim Al Hawaj to death after a flawed trial in which, confessions made under torture were admitted as sole evidence. On 24 November 2016, Alkarama raised his case with the Special Rapporteur on Summary Executions (SUMEX), calling for her intervention with the Saudi authorities to demand the repeal of Abdelkarim’s death sentence.

Saudi Arabia: Two Human Rights Defenders Prosecuted Before the Specialised Criminal Court

KSA - News | 21 November 2016

On 17 November 2016, Alkarama wrote to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders (SR HRD) regarding the case of two Saudi activists, Mohamed Al Otaibi and Abdullah Al Atawi, who are currently put on trial before the Specialised Criminal Court (SCC) due to their peaceful human rights activism. The next trial hearing is set for 26 December 2016.

Saudi Arabia: One year on- UN group renews call for Saudi Arabia to release human rights activists

KSA - News | 17 November 2016

GENEVA (17 November 2016) – The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has renewed its call for Saudi Arabia to release nine human rights activists who were jailed after participating in activities relating to the promotion and protection of human rights.

Saudi Arabia: “Kingdom of Arbitrary Detention” Campaign Only a First Step

KSA - News | 24 October 2016

On 12 October 2016, the Alkarama Foundation launched the #KingdomofArbitraryDetention campaign to address arbitrary detention and the prosecution of human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia. On this occasion, Alkarama released a report, a short film and a joint open letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as a social media campaign using the hashtags #KingdomofArbitraryDetention and سعودية_دون_الإعتقال_التعسفي#. The campaign, which lasted 11 days, was launched on the seventh anniversary of the establishment of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) and honours the commitment of its 11 human rights defenders – all of whom have been harshly prosecuted for their peaceful human rights activism – by featuring on every day a profile of each member. Ultimately, we hope that by shedding light on this pressing human rights issue, the campaign will propel the Kingdom's human rights record to the global stage , encourage the Saudi authorities to end its use of arbitrary detention and to respect the fundamental rights of human rights defenders.

Saudi Arabia: Authorities Refuse to Release Khaled Al Omeir After he Served His Full Sentence

KSA - News | 18 October 2016

On 5 October 2016, Al Omeir’s eight year sentence for “attempted illegal gathering” and “publishing information online” legally expired. However, Al Omeir has not yet been released and he has begun a hunger strike protesting the Saudi authorities’ refusal to release him. Hence, on 17 October 2016, Alkarama seized the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) – which had already deemed his detention to be arbitrary in 2013 – to inform them of the continued illegal detention of Khaled Al Omeir and urging his immediate release.

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Saudi Arabia - HR Instruments

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)


Convention against Torture (CAT)

CAT: Accessed on 23.09.1997
Optional Protocol: No
Art. 20 (Confidential inquiry): No
Art. 22 (Individual communications): No

State report: Overdue since 22.10.2006 (2nd)
Last concluding observations: 12.06.2002

International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CED)


Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

Last review: 10.2013 (2nd cycle)
Next review: -

National Human Rights Institution (NHRI)