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On October 31, 2017, the Saudi Council of Ministers adopted a new “law on combating crimes of terrorism and its financing”*, replacing the repressive Anti-Terrorism Law of 2014.

On October 5, 2017, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) issued an opinion calling for the immediate release of Jaber Al Amri, a Saudi citizen detained since 2014 after publicly criticising the practice of arbitrary detention in the country and advocating for the release of his brother, still detained long after the completion of his sentence.

On November 9, 2017, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) published an Opinion calling for the immediate release of Taysir Salman, a 44-year-old Jordanian journalist who has been detained in the UAE since 2015 – during which time he was disappeared for 80 days – as a result of a Facebook post.

On October 25, 2017, Alkarama expressed concern over the ongoing clampdown on peaceful dissent in Saudi Arabia while bringing several cases of arbitrary arrests to the attention of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression (SR FREEDEX), David Kaye.

On October 23, 2017, Omani journalist Yousuf Al Balouchi – known under the pen name of Yousuf Al Haj – was released from the Central Prison in Muscat after being detained for one year as a result of an article denouncing corruption at the Supreme Court level. Just weeks before his release, Al Zaman newspaper, where Al Haj was working at the time of his arrest, was permanently shut down by the authorities following a long legal dispute.