The authorities escalated repression of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. They harassed, arbitrarily detained and prosecuted dozens of government critics, human rights defenders, including women’s rights activists, members of the Shi’a minority and family members of activists. Shi’a activists and religious clerics remained on trial before a counter-terror court for expressing dissent. The authorities used the death penalty extensively, carrying out scores of executions for a range of crimes, including drug offences. Some people, most of them members of the country’s Shi’a minority, were executed following grossly unfair trials. The authorities implemented major reforms to the repressive male guardianship system, including allowing women to obtain passports, travel without the permission of a male guardian and become heads of households; however, women continued to face systematic discrimination in law and practice in other areas and remained inadequately protected against sexual and other violence. The authorities granted hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals the right to work and access to education and health care, but arrested and deported hundreds of thousands of irregular migrant workers, who were exposed to labour abuses and exploitation by employers and torture when in state custody. Discrimination against the Shi’a minority remained entrenched.
Death penalty status
Retains the death penalty in law
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SARA HASHASH AND MOHAMMED ABUNAJELA
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