Sunday, February 12, 2017
SAUDI REGIME INTENSIFIES REPRESSION OF WRITERS, ACTIVISTS IN 2017: HRW
Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Saudi Arabia has stepped up the politically-motivated arrests, prosecution, and convictions of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners since the beginning of the current year.
The New York City-based organization, in a report published on Monday, documented the alarming rise in the Riyadh regime’s repressive measures against pro-democracy activists in Saudi Arabia.
It said Saudi courts have convicted at least 20 distinguished activists and dissidents since 2011. The report said many of the activists have received severe punishments comparable to those for manslaughter in the West and have been handed down jail terms ranging from 10 to 15 years.
The charges brought against the dissidents involve disloyalty to the monarch and “breaking allegiance” with him in addition to “participating in protests.”
The HRW said the charges “do not constitute recognizable crimes.”
“Saudi Arabia is trying to silence and lock away anyone who doesn’t toe the official line or dares to express an independent view on politics, religion, or human rights,” Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director at HRW, said.