Saudi Arabia

‘They’re afraid we'll protest Yemen operation,’ say Saudi Shiites


Street battles raged for hours on Sunday between Saudi security forces and locals in the town of Awamiyah, a hotbed of Shiite activism in the country’s east. According to one of our Observers, the authorities are cracking down on this minority population to try to stop them from organising protests over Saudi Arabia’s military operation against Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen. The consequences of global tensions between Sunni and Shiite countries, he says, are now exacerbating divisions at home. Read more…
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Saudis pay allegiance to their 'cardboard king'

Following the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, two videos have emerged showing Saudis pledging allegiance to their new ruler – by shaking hands with cardboard cutouts of King Salman and the two heirs to the throne. Actors standing behind the life-sized cutouts extend their arms to shake hands with visitors. Read more...

Maid ‘abused’ by Saudi rescued after video goes viral


A video posted by a Filipino domestic servant suffering abuse at the hands of her Saudi employer has gone viral online. The video - which Nargelene Mendez published on her Facebook page - has even led the the Philippine embassy in Saudi Arabia to intervene and bring her home. But not everyone in her situation dares to cry out for help so publicly. That's where our Observer comes in - he's a Filipino at the head of a secret organisation in Saudi Arabia that comes to the rescue of his fellow compatriots. Read more...
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Saudi Arabia’s deadly manholes


If you visit Saudi Arabia, remember to keep an eye on the ground where it’s not uncommon to find uncovered manholes in the streets. The Saudis call them “death holes,” because they have recently been the cause of several fatal accidents. Read more...
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Gunmen attack Shiite worshippers amid rise in hate speech


Masked gunmen shot dead at least five people in the Al-Ahsa district of eastern Saudi Arabia on Monday evening. The victims were leaving a Shiite ceremony that was part of the annual Ashoura commemorations. Our Observer in Al-Ahsa worries these attacks on Shiites, which are a minority in Saudi Arabia, could exacerbate tensions amid a rise in hate speech. Read more…
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Video: British man assaulted by Saudi religious police


A video showing a Saudi religious police officer jumping on the back of a British man and then hitting him has been shared widely on social media since Sunday. The video has provoked widespread outrage in Saudi Arabia, where the religious police are often accused of abusing their power. Read more...
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