Saudi Arabia

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On 12 October 2020, Alkarama submitted a complaint to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on behalf of 70-years-old religious scholar Safar bin Abdulrahman Al Hawali. This prominent scholar is arbitrarily detained since 12 July 2018 after publishing a book in which he criticised Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s international policy choices and issued recommendations to his attention.

The infamous October 2 date marks the second anniversary of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at his country's consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.

Since its establishment in 2004, Alkarama has submitted numerous cases of persons subjected to long periods of arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment to the UN Special Procedures and, mainly, to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD). So far, all submissions made to WGAD have led to favourable Opinions, stating the arbitrary nature of the detentions.

Saudi Arabia
Our concerns
  • Systematic practice of torture and arbitrary detention, including prolonged detention devoid of any legal basis;
  • Abusive counter-terrorism measures and unfair trials before the Specialised Criminal Court, often resulting in the death penalty ;
  • Severe repression of freedom of expression through arrests and arbitrary detention of peaceful dissidents, including human rights defenders;
  • Severe violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Yemen.


Human Rights Instruments
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
ICCPR Ratified ?
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (UNCAT)
UNCAT Ratified ?
UNCAT Ratification Date
OPCAT (National Preventive Mechanism) Ratified ?
National Preventive Mechanism (OPCAT) created ?
Date of last Concluding Observations by Committee against Torture (CAT)
Next CAT State Report Due
OVERDUE - State party did not submit report on time
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED)
ICPPED Ratified ?
Human Rights Council
Date last Universal Period Review (UPR)
UPR Next Review
Membership of Human Rights Council:

Term expires in 2019

National Human Rights Institution
Accreditation with the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)