A human rights organization has sounded the alarm over the worsening human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, claiming that a dozen prominent women’s rights activists have been arbitrarily arrested by regime forces of Riyadh throughout this year.
Human rights organization Sanad, which monitors and exposes human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, said the activists were being held in various cities across the kingdom as part of a brutal crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman against political dissidents and opposition figures.
Sanad said more than 100 women have been arrested since the 36-year-old crown prince took office four years ago, and around 60 of them are still languishing behind bars.
The Saudi authorities bear full responsibility for violations of social rights and the right to freedom of opinion and expression, he added.
Earlier this month, more than 120 Members of the European Parliament denounced the “ongoing persecution” of Saudi women’s rights defenders by the Riyadh regime, saying that activists released from prison still face human rights violations and severe restrictions.
The lawmakers, in a joint letter signed on the occasion of the International Day of Women Human Rights Defenders, reiterated their call on the Saudi authorities “to immediately and unconditionally release all women targeted for their human rights activism” .
While all the activists arrested in a widespread crackdown in 2018 have now been released from prison, the activists, including prominent figures Samar Badawi, Nassima al-Sadah and Loujain al-Hathloul, have been subjected to heavy restrictions and restrictions on their fundamental rights. since their release, the letter says.
Since bin Salman became Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader in 2017, the kingdom has stepped up arrests of activists, bloggers, intellectuals and others perceived to be political opponents, demonstrating a almost zero tolerance for dissent, even in the face of international condemnation of repression.
Muslim academics have been executed and women’s rights activists have been put behind bars and tortured as freedoms of expression, association and belief continue to be violated.