March 31, 2014
By Adam Coogle
Human Rights Watch
US President Barack Obama left Riyadh on the afternoon of March 29 apparently without raising human rights issues during talks with Saudi officials. The trip came at a time when Saudi Arabia has scaled up its persecution of peaceful dissidents and human rights activists – including one who is expected to receive a long prison sentence next week; deported thousands of undocumented migrants who have been detained in terrible conditions; and continues its systematic discrimination against women.
Although billed as a “fence-mending” trip, it is hard not to wonder what it would take for Obama – or any senior US official – to shed some light on these pervasive abuses.