UPDATED: Nicki Minaj Backs Out of Saudi Arabia Performance Amid Pressure from Human Rights Groups

***On 9 July 2019, Nicki Minaj cancelled her performance in Saudi Arabia in support of women and LGBTQ rights.  Despite ongoing and systematic human rights violations in Saudi Arabia, popular foreign musicians continue to perform in the kingdom. While Saudi Arabia’s lifting of the ban on female drivers last year seemed like a step in the[…]

Despite New Report by UN Human Rights Expert, the Trump Administration Remains Silent on MbS’ Role in Khashoggi Killing

On 19 June 2019, Agnes Callamard, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur for extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, issued a 100-page report in which she intricately described the details of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s execution and further implicated Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) in orchestrating the murder. Despite ample evidence stated in her report,[…]

UN Special Procedures Publishes Allegation Letter to Saudi Arabia on Arbitrary Detention of Qatari Exchange Student

On 17 April 2019, the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Special Rapporteur on the right to education published an allegation letter addressed to Saudi Arabia regarding the alleged arrest and continued detention of Qatari Exchange student Adbulaziz Saeed Saad Halwan Abdullah. Abdullah is a Qatari exchange student from the Ministry[…]

Bahraini Activist Mohammed Al-Maskati Awarded Human Rights Heroes Award

On 8 June 2019, Access Now announced Bahraini activist Mohammed Al-Maskati as one of the recipients of the 2018 Human Rights Heroes award. Al-Maskati was chosen because of his efforts to provide digital security training to human rights defenders throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights,[…]

Houthi Attack on Saudi Airport is Just One Part of a Greater Problem

On 12 June 2019, Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched a missile attack on an airport in Abha, Saudi Arabia, which is about 110 km (70 miles) north of the border with Yemen. According to reports, at least 26 civilians were injured. This is yet another incident among the now four-year war between the Iran-backed Houthi rebels[…]