HRW gave several recommendations to Saudi Arabia, including a call to theGulf country to publicize all information about the ongoing trial of suspects involved in the Jamal Khashoggi murder.
The report provided a timeline for the mass arrests Saudi Arabia has conducted since 2017.
HRW found that Saudi Arabia arrested approximately 70 people in September 2017, including Salman al Awda, a cleric currently on trial for his alleged membership of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as another Saudi national named Essam al Zamil.
Saudi Arabia also arrested in the same year, Hassan Farhan al Maliki, a religious thinker who is on trial for his religious ideas.
HRW said Saudi Arabia detained 8 more people in 2017.
The NGO also cited the arrests of several businessmen and former ministers, including Prince al-Waleed bin Talal in November 2017
The businessman was among the 40 elites arrested on corruption charges and detained in the Ritz Carlton of Saudi Arabia in November 2017.
Later in 2018, Saudi Arabia arrested 16 women’s rights advocates, including Aziza Yousef, Eman al-Nafjan, and Loujain alHathloul.
The report said that the HRW obtained evidence that security services in Saudi Arabia tortured four female activists.
“The torture included electric shocks, whippings, waterboarding, and sexual harassment.”
HRW, citing a report from the New York Times, added that Saudi Arabia used “physical abuse to coerce so-called corruption detainees” in the Ritz Carlton.
The report stated that at least 17 people required hospitalization for abuse in detention. HRW named Maj. Gen. Ali al-Qahtani, an aide to Prince Turki bin Abdullah, who later died in detention.
HRW condemned the continued mass arrests in Saudi Arabia despite allegations linking the murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi to the state.
“Around April 4, 2019, despite continuing international criticism stemming from the Khashoggi murder, Saudi Arabia carried out a new round of arrests, this time targeting 13 writers and activists, the HRW wrote.
In response, the HRW wrote a set of recommendations for Saudi Arabia, calling for the immediate release of all prisoners.
“Immediately release all prisoners held solely for their peaceful practice of their rights to free expression and association, including prisoners convicted of alleged crimes, prisoners currently on trial, and prisoners held arbitrarily,” the report said.
HRW also asked Saudi Arabia to publicize information about the ongoing trial of the 11 suspects allegedly involved in the murder of Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.