• Home

Addressing the Crackdown on Expression in Saudi Arabia: Legal Protections for the Right to Free Speech and Opinion

Recent reports have set out growing concerns about a documented crackdown by Saudi authorities on individuals expressing peaceful criticism, concern and opposition to the policies and practices of the Government of Saudi Arabia. This includes examples of individuals facing serious human rights violations and abuses and receiving lengthy prison sentences or the death penalty for exercising their right to free expression and association. It has resulted in human rights organisations raising alarm over the use of anti-terrorism laws in Saudi Arabia to target the exercise of free and peaceful expression. This includes recognition by UN Experts of an escalating ‘crackdown on freedom of expression in the country.’ Please join a group of human rights and legal experts at the American Society of International Law headquarters in Washington DC for this IN-PERSON discussion (Zoom link will be provided for those who cannot attend) which will raise awareness to well-documented reports of violations to international legal protections, and will address specific cases of abuses to the right of free expression. Applicable international legal obligations for human rights protections and avenues for remedy and accountability will also be discussed.



Abdullah Alaoudh – Director for Countering Authoritarianism, Middle East Democracy Center (MEDC)

Sunjeev Bery – Executive Director, Freedom Forward

Hadar Harris – Managing Director, PEN America

Elizabeth Rghebi – MENA Advocacy Director for Amnesty International USA

Haydee Dijkstal (moderator) – Barrister, 33 Bedford Row Chambers and legal representative for individuals arbitrarily detained in Saudi Arabia