Saudi Arabia has been infamous for violations of human rights over the years. Stories of people getting publicly beheaded and amputations of body parts have traveled across the globe, inciting fear and creating a rhetoric that no one shall mess with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The kingdom bases its action on Sharia, also known as Islamic law. Because the country claims to be so connected with the religion of Islam, they believe that they can use the religion to justify anything they do.
Corporal punishment, torture, capital punishment are amongst some of the human rights violations present in Saudi Arabia. Many thought that the lift of the driving ban on women would be a sign of progress for the Saudi, but with the recent death of an American-based journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, it looks like it’s the same old business for the royal family.
Between the years 2005 and 2008, Saudi Arabia carried out over 400 executions, mostly being capital punishment. In Saudi Arabia, capital punishments can consist of the death penalty. The death penalty can be imposed for a variety of crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, drug use, adultery, and witchcraft.
The death penalty is a ruling that is seen as a major violation of human rights around the world. The United States is also seen as an offender of this because some states still use the death penalty.
Another violation of human rights in Saudi Arabia is human trafficking and sex slavery. There have been several studies and documentaries done on individuals and groups who voluntarily go to Saudi Arabia to work legally, but then are exploited and are kept under harsh conditions without fair pay. Some are taken for commercial sexual exploitation and those who run away are kidnapped and exploited by other bad people in the country.
Adding on to that, some women are promised marriage and are brought to the country, only to find out that they are their husband’s new sex slave and are forced to do any type of labor their “husband” demands. A lot of these acts related to human trafficking are illegal in Saudi Arabia such as prostitution. Other acts such as the ill-treatment of the poor, denying one their rights, forcing women into sex slavery/ prostitution are all considered to be unlawful and not allowed in the religion of Islam.
Women are treated poorly in the country which is very contradictory to the religion of Islam that places women to the highest regard. The judicial system and the laws are set up to make sure that women need men in order to function in their daily lives. The rules regarding male guardianship have heavily suppressed women from succeeding and progressing.
Women need the permission of a male relative to do anything in the country. Now, going back to the driving ban which was an act done by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The women who worked and advocated for decades to lift that ban and their lawyers were immediately arrested after the announcement of the lifting had occurred. They are all facing the death penalty.
Freedom House calls the country “the worst of the worst” and others are very careful to comment on the country’s actions because of the possible actions that could be taken against them.