UN human rights experts called on Saudi Arabia to release those arrested in the recent human rights crackdown.
More than 60 prominent clerics, writers, academics, religious figures, journalists and activists are reported to have been detained in the kingdom in a wave of arrests that began in September.
In a statement on the second anniversary of Saudi Arabia’s last mass execution, of 47 adults, UN human rights experts and groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have decried the latest crackdown on dissent, which began after Prince Mohammed bin Salman became the new crown prince in June.
In a statement, five UN experts condemned a “worrying pattern of widespread and systematic arbitrary arrests and detention” through the Gulf kingdom’s use of counter-terrorism and security laws.
“We are witnessing the persecution of human rights defenders for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, assembly, association and belief, as well as in retaliation for their work,” the experts said.