Amnesty slams Saudi human rights record

By Jessica Elgot, July 22, 2009

Amnesty International has slammed the human rights record of Saudi Arabia in a new report, just days after it was revealed that Human Rights Watch had approached Saudi leaders for donations.

The report by the Wall Street Journal alleged that the director of HRW, Sarah Leah Whitson, had sought money from senior Saudis, in part by highlighting her organisation’s condemnation of Israel.

Now Amnesty International has published a 69-page report which calls the state’s human rights record “shocking” and “dire” and accuses the country’s government of widespread and systematic abuse

The report says since 2001, thousands of Saudis have been imprisoned without any charge or legal process.

This is not the first time Saudi Arabia has been criticised for alleged human rights abuses. Indeed, Human Rights Watch itself has identified the human rights abuse in the country.

In February, it listed how the kingdom restricted speech, association, religious and women’s rights and had a failing legal system for defendants.

Last updated: 3:11pm, July 22 2009