CATEGORIES OF PRISONER

Artists

NUMBER OF CASES

9

As is common amongst repressive regimes through time and around the world, poets, musicians and artists have not been safe from attacks on free speech and free expression. We know of at least 9 artists held as prisoners of conscience in the MBS era. They include the poet and novelist Fawaz Al-Ghuslan who was arrested in the 2017 September purge, the poet Ali al-Zaal – arrested on the strength of his tweets, he was in prison for 9 months before any proper legal process began – and the musician Rabee Hafez

“Human rights activists in Saudi Arabia are an endangered species. One by one they are vanishing – prosecuted, jailed, intimidated into silence or forced into exile – highlighting the authorities’ zero-tolerance approach to freedom of expression.”

Lynn Maalouf, Director for Research at Amnesty International’s Beirut office.

Artists​ In Saudi Arabia

We know of at least 9 artists held as prisoners of conscience in the MBS era. They include the poet and novelist Fawaz Al-Ghuslan who was arrested in the 2017 September purge, the poet Ali al-Zaal – arrested on the strength of his tweets, he was in prison for 9 months before any proper legal process began – and the musician Rabee Hafez, profiled below.

Artistic expression is of course heavily censored in Saudi Arabia, as well as the arrests documented here, the regime censors everything from Netflix to newspapers. The Kingdom ranks as the CPJ’s 4th most censored country .