August 2023 | Mass killing of migrants at Yemen-Saudi border
A report released by Human Rights Watch on 21 August accused Saudi security forces of conducting ‘widespread and systematic’ killings of hundreds of Ethiopian migrants and asylum seekers at the Yemen-Saudi Arabia border. The report uncovers a pattern of lethal force used by Saudi authorities between March 2022 and June 2023, suggesting that these actions could potentially amount to crimes against humanity. The report alleges that Saudi border guards fired small arms, light weapons, and explosive weapons at migrants attempting to cross from Yemen into Saudi Arabia. Additionally, the victims were reportedly subjected to sexual abuse, physical violence, torture, and arbitrary detention. Despite these serious allegations, the Saudi government has dismissed them as baseless, asserting that they are not grounded on credible sources The border region has become a primary transit point for people from the Horn of Africa aiming to reach Saudi Arabia, with many depending on traffickers and thereby becoming vulnerable to violence. While the exact number of victims is still unclear, the report suggests that the actual number of those killed and injured may be higher than reported.
February 2023 | Number of executions has increased under the reign of King Salman
A report by the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (ESOHR) and by Reprieve published in February revealed a concerning increase in the number of executions in Saudi Arabia, with the past six years among the worst in the country’s modern history. Saudi Arabia’s use of the death penalty has drastically increased since King Salman and Crown Prince (and Prime Minister) Mohammed bin Salman came to power in 2015. The annual rate of executions has grown from an average of 70.8 executions per year between 2010-2014 to an average of 129.5 executions per year between 2015-2022 – an increase of 82 per cent. Despite extensive reforms and recent efforts to modernize the country, the new data show that international human rights law continues to be routinely violated in Saudi Arabia. The report notes that the death penalty is used by the new government to repress political opposition and silence dissidents.
January 2023 | More rights and opportunities for Saudi women
Several milestones were recorded in January for women’s inclusion and empowerment. Gender equality has been advanced most notably in the laws surrounding traffic, travel documentation, civil status, labour and social insurance. Nevertheless, despite the reforms and opportunities joining the labour market, women in Saudi Arabia still face several forms of discrimination on a legal and social level and the Saudi government continues to target and repress women's rights activists and movements.
August 2022 | Saudi Arabia conducts mass executions
Saudi Arabia has executed 120 prisoners in the first half of 2022, and human rights groups have shown concern about the rapid escalation of death penalties. The United Nations (UN) has warned Saudi Arabia for the second time in six months that enforcing the death penalty on two Bahraini men who were allegedly tortured and forced to make confessions could constitute arbitrary execution.