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UN wants Shiite activists released from Saudi prisons

U.N. human rights experts called on Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to free three young Shi’ite Muslims whose death sentences for taking part in protests as minors have been commuted, citing allegations of torture and unfair trials. The kingdom’s human rights record has come under growing U.N. and Western scrutiny. The …

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Fallout of Khashoggi report going global

The world reacted to the release on Friday of a U.S. intelligence assessment that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved an operation to capture or kill dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi: OFFICE OF U.S. DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE REPORT: “We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved …

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In wake of Khashoggi report, US sanctions certain Saudi officials and contemplates halting arms sales

The Biden administration announced sanctions and visa bans on Friday targeting Saudi Arabian citizens over the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but stopped short of imposing sanctions on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman himself. U.S. President Joe Biden’s actions in the first weeks of his administration appear aimed at …

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UN in friction with Saudi over free speech

United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet, in rare public comments on Saudi Arabia, said on Friday that people were unlawfully held in the kingdom and urged it to uphold freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly. Bachelet, addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council where Saudi Arabia is …

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Saudi to recruit women into armed services

Women can now join Saudi Arabia’s armed forces, following a ruling by the Saudi Ministry of Defense that opened the way for both genders to sign up through a unified admission portal starting Sunday. Military ranks from soldier to sergeant will be available in the Saudi Arabian Army, Royal Saudi Air …

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In goodwill gesture, Saudi releases female activist

Prominent women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul was released from a Saudi prison after nearly three years behind bars, her family said on Wednesday, a case that has drawn international condemnation. Hathloul, 31, was detained in May 2018 and sentenced in December to nearly six years in prison on charges that …

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Saudi pursuing wide range of judicial reforms

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced on Monday plans to approve a set of new draft laws designed to enhance the efficiency and integrity of the kingdom’s judicial system, a step that would eventually lead to an entirely codified law. The prince, often referred to by his initials …

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Saudi women take up fencing as a feminine sport of choice

For some young Saudis, the virtues of one particular sport — fencing — have turned out to be nothing short of life-affirming. “Fencing taught me patience, justice and anger management,” said 21-year-old women’s fencer Ruba Al-Masri. In the elegant centuries-old sport, it seems she has, alongside many young Saudi female …

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US envoy reaffirms commitment to Saudi Arabia

The US commitment to Saudi Arabia remains clear and unshakeable, the country’s charge d’affaires, Martina Strong, has said. “Our commitment to Saudi Arabia just as we have over decades remains unshakeable and remains clear,” she told Arab News. “We are very clear-eyed about the threats that Saudi Arabia faces and …

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