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Saudi and foreign workers unite to strike over unpaid wages


Staff at a prestigious private hospital in Saudi Arabia entered the fourth day of an open-ended strike on Wednesday in protest over wages not being paid for almost four months. Two doctors, one American and the other British, and two nurses, one Saudi and the other Jordanian, told MEE more than 1,200 staff at Saad Specialist Hospital in the eastern ...

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Here’s why Saudi Arabia is loosening its restrictions on women


Why is Saudi Arabia — a highly conservative state where very little changes — suddenly embracing various kinds of reform, including loosening its repressive gender policies? Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has launched a media offensive to sell Vision 2030, which Bloomberg BusinessWeek called “the $2 trillion project to get Saudi Arabia’s economy off oil.” At the same time, ...

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Saudi Arabia’s investment in Uber just another way to keep women from driving, some say


Saudi Arabia made international headlines earlier this month when it invested $3.5 billion in the ride-hailing app Uber. Just as conspicuous as the whopping all-cash infusion was the fact that it was coming from the only nation in the world that doesn’t allow women to drive a car. When Uber launched its service in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, the ...

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A Midterm Report on Saudi Arabia’s UPR Second Cycle: Analyzing Saudi Arabia’s Refusal to Reform


Over the last several years, Saudi Arabia has pursued a larger role in the international community. The kingdom currently participates in the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) as a member state, and it recently held a seat on a panel that evaluated candidates for positions in the UN Special Procedures. In 2015, the Saudi government even considered campaigning ...

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The UN committee against torture publishes the report of final concluding observations on torture in Saudi Arabia.


The UN committee against Torture recently published its findings of Its latest review of Saudi Arabia’s compliance to the UN convention against torture (UNCAT). This report was issued following an in-depth assessment of their state party report, as part of their second periodic review in May 2016. The review, which was held in Geneva, was attended by a large official ...

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UN Committee Raises Torture Concerns with Saudi Arabia


The United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) recently adopted its concluding observations on the second periodic report of Saudi Arabia. Although the Committee outlined some positive measures undertaken by the Government of Saudi Arabia, it devoted the vast majority of its report to areas of concern, casting aspersions over the government’s will and ability to effectively implement the treaty’s human ...

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Saudi Nationals Contribute to Human Trafficking Domestically and Abroad


Like most of the other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Saudi Arabia is a destination country for human trafficking. Migrant and domestic workers travel from Southeast Asia, Africa, and East Asia in order to make more money to send home to their families. Once in Saudi Arabia, many laborers, especially female domestic workers, are physically and sexually abused by ...

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Why Saudi Arabia Is Suddenly in Serious Trouble


Saudi Arabia is in serious trouble. The Binladin Group, the kingdom’s largest construction company, has terminated the employment of fifty thousand foreign workers. They have been issued exit visas, which they have refused to honor. These workers will not leave without being paid back wages. Angry with their employer, some of the workers set fire to seven of the company’s ...

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The unjust arrest, trial, and execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr


The trial of prominent Muslim Shia cleric and political activist Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was marred with human rights violations. Sheikh Nimr from the Awamiyah village in the Qatif region in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was a vocal critic of the Saudi government and called for peaceful political reforms. He advocated for nonviolent civil disobedience of discriminatory government policy that ...

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Indian maid who lost arm as fled Saudi Arabia becomes face of human trafficking


By Anuradha Nagaraj CHENNAI, India, May 3 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When Kasthuri Munirathinam crawled out of the window of a second floor apartment in Riyadh, she was scared for her life. The 55-year-old Indian housemaid from the southern state of Tamil Nadu was determined to escape from her employer’s apartment where she worked as a domestic help. She had ...

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