Saudi Arabia: Muzzling critical voices: politicized trials before Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court

Despite the Saudi Arabian authorities’ rhetoric about reforms, they have unleashed an intense crackdown on citizens promoting change in the last few years. One of the instruments of that repression has been the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC), which was set up in 2008 to try individuals accused of terror-related crimes. Amnesty International has documented the cases of 95 individuals who were tried before the SCC between 2011 and 2019. It has concluded that the SCC’s judges have presided over grossly unfair trials, handing down prison sentences of up to 30 years and numerous death sentences, in an effort to silence dissent.

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