Saudi Arabia’s post-G20 crackdown on expression: Resumption of crackdown on free speech, human rights activism and use of the death penalty

Following Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 culminating in the November 2020 summit, Saudi Arabian authorities increased their prosecutions and trials of human rights defenders and other dissidents, particularly before the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) after a pause during the period which the country hosted the G20. This briefing examines the cases of 13 individuals who have been or continue to be prosecuted or have had their sentences upheld before the SCC or ratified by the King between December 2020 and July 2021. The briefing also documents the authorities’ politicized use of the death penalty, exemplified by the recent execution of a young man following a grossly unfair trial.

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