More than 160 "peaceful" dissidents have been arrested in the oil-rich kingdom since February, as the so-called "Arab Spring" of revolt spread throughout the Middle East. Most of the arrests were in Eastern Province, where the Shiite minority has been holding protests calling for political reforms and the release of prisoners.
"Allies of Saudi Arabia have not publicly protested these serious and systematic violations," the organization charged in a report issued on its website. "As the list of Saudi political prisoners grows longer, the silence of the U.S. and the EU becomes more deafening."
Ashton said on April 18 that she had been "very pleased" with her two-day visit.
"The EU's silence on the brazen arrest of a peaceful dissident on the first day of its chief foreign policy representative's visit looks like a pat on the back for an authoritarian state," said Christoph Wilcke, a senior Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch.
"Silence when more than 160 peaceful dissidents are locked up should not be an option for Brussels or Washington"
The organization called for the Saudi interior minister, Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, to order the immediate release of peaceful dissidents, including al-Majid.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department who spoke on condition of anonymity told AOL News today that the U.S. "supports a set of universal rights and continues to monitor the situation in Saudi Arabia as we do all the countries across the region."
A report on human rights in Saudi Arabia in 2010 was issued April 8 by the State Department along with reports from all over the world.
Al-Majid wrote an article titled "I Protest, Therefore I Am" on April 2, in which he said that with the Saudi government's "call to stop demonstrations, we see history bypassing us, and this speaks volumes to the ingrained blindness in political vision, analysis and consciousness."
He was arrested at his school on April 17, and his home was later searched, in front of his wife and children, by intelligence service agents who took many of his personal belongings.
One leading human rights activist in Saudi Arabia said the recent crackdown is directly tied in to the ruling monarchy's fears over the spreading unrest in the Arab world.
"The reason the U.S. and the EU don't do anything is simple and everyone knows it," Mohammed al-Qahtani, the Riyadh-based director of the 2-year-old Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, told AOL News today.
"It's because of our oil. Oil is the engine of the world's economy so the world looks the other way when it comes to human rights abuses in Saudi. If it wasn't for our oil, the authorities would never get away with arresting people and keeping them locked up for months over nothing."
Saudi Arabia provides 20 percent of the world's oil.
Al-Qahtani has been instrumental in helping families of some of the recently arrested political prisoners challenge the authorities over their detention.
He is helping the family of Khaled al-Johani, dubbed the "bravest man in Saudi Arabia" this month after AOL News reported that he was being held in a Riyadh-area prison after being virtually the only person to speak out at a planned "Day of Rage" on March 11 in Riyadh.
Al-Johani's impromptu rant on YouTube about his frustration with repressive Saudi society and the lack of services for his 5-year-old autistic son has now been uploaded 15,000 times.
Al-Johani, who was also cited in the Human Rights Watch report, was arrested the same day he spoke out. His family has been told he is being held incommunicado at the Ulaisha intelligence prison near Riyadh but have given no further information about him.
Al-Qahtani says the climate of repression and fear is such that he doesn't expect many to show up at another planned "Day of Rage" in Saudi on April 22.
"People are not ready to take to the streets the way they did in Tunisia and Egypt," he said. "There's too much fear. Plus you need real organization and coordination, but the authorities are infiltrating cyberspace here and arresting anyone they find who is trying to organize protests."
Al-Qahtani says he fears being arrested himself but said he and others have had to prepare themselves.
"It's for our kids, really," he said. "It's for their future."