Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia: Nomination of Waleed Abu Al-khair for the Lawyers for Lawyers Human Rights Award 2019

March 3, 2019

Nomination for the Lawyers for Lawyers Human Rights Award 2019
Nominee: Waleed Abu al-Khair of Saudi Arabia
Nominator: Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada
References: Daniel N. Arshak and Tony Fisher

Summary of Work of Nominee
Waleed Abu al-Khair, until silenced, was the most prominent advocate for democratic and human rights reform in Saudi Arabia. Founder of the Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, he used the written and spoken word coupled with legal knowledge to fearlessly advocate for reforms to improve the lives of all by calling on Saudi Arabia to allow its citizens to enjoy internationally protected rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly and the right to participate directly and indirectly in public affairs. He did this work through writing and public speaking, by providing a safe space for peaceful discussion of issues of public concern and by providing an example of responsible advocacy for justice for all. He represented activists and reformists and advocated for prisoners of conscience. He used his training and skills as a lawyer to advocate for an elected parliament, an independent judiciary, a constitutional monarchy and recognition of internationally protected human rights. He wrote many articles identifying human rights abuses and the need for legal reform, always recommending reliance on the rule of law and proper legal procedures to promote reform and settle disputes and differences of opinion. He never used or advocated violence as a means of opposition or a tool of reform. Waleed Abu al-Khair’s self-less and peaceful advocacy has been recognized by these awards: the Olof Palme Prize (2012), the XXth Ludovic-Trarieux Human Rights International Prize (2015), the Law Society of Ontario Human Rights Award (2017), and the Right Livelihood Award (2018).

Risks experienced by the Nominee
In reprisal for lawful advocacy Saudi Arabia banned Waleed Abu al-Khair from travel (1.04.12) and (2013) prosecuted him. When these charges resulted in a 3-month sentence,  Saudi Arabia re-charged him with similar offenses this time under the Penal Law for Crimes of Terrorism and its Financing to be determined by the Specialized Criminal Court (SCCt).He was arrested (15/04/14) without cause or warrant while before the SCCt.

https://www.lrwc.org/saudi-arabia-nomination-of-waleed-abu-al-khair-for-the-lawyers-for-lawyers-human-rights-award-2019/?fbclid=IwAR20dArM-YSo13spc0oPGacdxWOSUxPpjHwyPGqZC6q37MxsDj0njgAXnt8

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/save-the-date-presentation-l4l-award-2019/

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/about-us/lawyers-for-lawyers-awards/

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/434752-senate-dems-petition-saudi-king-to-release-dissidents-us-citizen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abulkhair

https://libnanews.com/madaniya-lobby-pro-saoudien-usa-1/ (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abu_al-Khair (FRANCAIS)

Saudi Arabia: Detained Saudi human rights lawyer freed: campaigners

December 24, 2018

Saudi human rights lawyer Ibrahim al-Modaimegh, around 80, was released after a "serious deterioration in his health", said Prisoners of Conscience

Saudi authorities have released a prominent human rights lawyer seven months after he was detained in a widely condemned crackdown on dissent, campaigners said on Monday.

Ibrahim al-Modaimegh, around 80, was released after a “serious deterioration in his health”, said Prisoners of Conscience, a Saudi group that tracks political prisoners, in a development corroborated by multiple other activists.

The government has so far not offered any public explanation for his arrest or the conditions of his release.

Modaimegh was among more than a dozen activists, including several women, who were arrested in May just before the historic lifting of a decades-long ban on female motorists the following month.

After their arrest, state-backed newspapers published front-page pictures of the jailed activists, including Modaimegh, calling them “traitors”.

Modaimegh’s release comes as Saudi Arabia faces intense global criticism over the killing of insider-turned-critic Jamal Khashoggi in its Istanbul consulate on October 2, which tipped the kingdom into one of its worst crises.

Further fuelling the outrage, rights groups last month said many of the detained activists have faced sexual harassment and torture such as electrocution and flogging during interrogation.

https://www.france24.com/en/20181224-detained-saudi-human-rights-lawyer-freed-campaigners

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-24/saudi-lawyer-who-defended-activists-is-said-to-have-been-freed

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-6527771/Detained-Saudi-human-rights-lawyer-freed-campaigners.html

https://www.i24news.tv/fr/actu/international/moyen-orient/191689-181224-arabie-liberation-d-un-avocat-militant-des-droits-humains-association (FRANCAIS)

Saudi Arabia: The Saudi Regime’s Other Victims

December 13, 2018

Dhahban Central Prison opened a few weeks after our visit, and many of the kingdom’s highest-profile detainees — including Mr. Badawi and his former lawyer, Waleed Abu al-Khair — were transferred there. Four months later, the arrest Fahad had been dreading finally came, and he was jailed at Dhahban, too. He is now serving a five-year prison term for “inciting hostility against the state” via tweets. His sentence includes a 10-year travel ban, which will begin following his release, as well as a lifelong writing ban.

https://www.indepthnews.net/index.php/global-citizenship/2324-right-livelihood-awards-to-visionary-global-citizens

https://www.pulse.com.gh/bi/politics/dozens-of-prominent-activists-have-been-held-for-months-in-saudi-arabia-without-charge-and-the-spotlight-on-the-kingdoms-human-rights-record-is-stronger-than-ever-id9128452.html

https://rinj.press/news-rinj-press/november-2018/orange-the-world-release-women-critics-in-saudi-gulags/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abulkhair

https://arabi21.com/story/1140103/%D9%85%D9%86%D8%AD-%D9%86%D9%88%D8%A8%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%84%D8%A9-%D9%84%D8%AB%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AB%D8%A9-%D9%85%D8%B9%D8%AA%D9%82%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%86-%D8%B3%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%8A%D9%86-%D9%85%D9%86-%D9%87%D9%85-%D8%B4%D8%A7%D9%87%D8%AF (ARABIC)

https://www.letemps.ch/culture/jessaie-deviter-paranoia (FRANCAIS)

https://www.24heures.ch/monde/moyen-orient/Le-Nobel-alternatif-honore-a-Geneve-trois-Saoudiens-emprisonnes/story/26149252 (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abu_al-Khair (FRANCAIS)

https://es.euronews.com/2018/11/24/tres-saudies-encarcelados-entre-los-galardonados-con-el-premio-nobel-alternativo (ESPANOL)

https://derstandard.at/2000092145354/Alternativnobelpreis-fuer-inhaftierte-Saudi-Aktivisten (DEUTSCH)

https://pt.euronews.com/2018/11/24/nobel-alternativo-distingue-ativistas-sociais (PORTUGUES)

Image result for Waleed Abu al-Khair

Saudi Arabia: Jailed Saudi activists honored with Right Livelihood Award

November 24, 2018

Three Saudi activists have been honored alongside anti-corruption campaigners at the awards ceremony. Known as the Alternative Nobel, the prize recognizes efforts thought to be ignored by the Nobel prizes.

Right Livelihood Award laureates Thelma Aldana, Tony Rinaudo, Yacouba Sawadogo and Iván Velásquez hold up a picture of the three jailed laureates from Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Al-Hamid, Waleed Abu Al-Khair and Mohammad Fahad Al-Qahtani

Three jailed activists in Saudi Arabia were among a series of people recognized for their work at the presentation of the so-called “Alternative Nobel Prize” on Friday.

The Saudis were honored in absentia at the Right Livelihood Award Foundation ceremony in Sweden for campaigning for reform in the repressive kingdom.

The co-founders of the banned Saudi Association for Civil and Political Rights, Abdullah al-Hamid and Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani, are serving sentences of 10 and 11 years. The third Saudi, Waleed Abu al-Khair, was sentenced to 15 years in 2014. He is known for defending activists such as jailed blogger Raif Badawi.

The foundation urged the kingdom to stop “harassing and killing those who fight” for democracy. Foundation head Ole von Uexkull said last week the trio had “acted through peaceful means” in their activism.

Al-Qahtani’s son, Omar, and London-based Saudi human rights activist Yahya Assiri accepted the award. “They inspire and encourage many others to follow in their footsteps,” said Assiri, urging the Saudi authorities to release the trio.

The annual awards were created in 1980 to honor efforts that the philanthropist prize founder Jakob von Uexkull felt were being ignored by the Nobel prizes.

https://www.dw.com/en/jailed-saudi-activists-honored-with-right-livelihood-award/a-46434745

http://www.tellerreport.com/news/–%22alternative-nobel%22-launches-an-international-campaign-to-release-three-saudi-human-rights-activists-.BJnXv-IAX.html

https://www.euronews.com/2018/11/24/three-imprisoned-saudi-lawyers-receive-award

https://www.rightlivelihoodaward.org/

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/uk-index.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludovic_Trarieux_International_Human_Rights_Prize

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abulkhair

https://fr.euronews.com/2018/11/24/trois-saoudiens-emprisonnes-recompenses-a-stockholm (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abu_al-Khair (FRANCAIS)

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/ (FRANCAIS)

https://derstandard.at/2000092145354/Alternativnobelpreis-fuer-inhaftierte-Saudi-Aktivisten (DEUTSCH)

http://www.laconexionusa.com/noticias/20181123188416_lc18841623.asp (ESPANOL)

http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=249420 (ESPANOL)

https://pt.euronews.com/2018/11/24/nobel-alternativo-distingue-ativistas-sociais (PORTUGUES)

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Saudi Arabia: Reports of torture and sexual harassment of detained activists

November 20, 2018

Image result for Amnesty International

Several Saudi Arabian activists, including a number of women, who have been arbitrarily detained without charge since May 2018 in Saudi Arabia’s Dhahban Prison, have reportedly faced sexual harassment, torture and other forms of ill-treatment during interrogation, Amnesty International said today.

According to three separate testimonies obtained by the organization, the activists were repeatedly tortured by electrocution and flogging, leaving some unable to walk or stand properly. In one reported instance, one of the activists was made to hang from the ceiling, and according to another testimony, one of the detained women was reportedly subjected to sexual harassment, by interrogators wearing face masks.

“Only a few weeks after the ruthless killing of Jamal Khashoggi, these shocking reports of torture, sexual harassment and other forms of ill-treatment, if verified, expose further outrageous human rights violations by the Saudi authorities” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East research director.

“Saudi authorities are directly responsible for the wellbeing of these women and men in detention. Not only have they been deprived them of their liberty for months now, simply for peacefully expressing their views, they are also subjecting them to horrendous physical suffering”.

According to the testimonies obtained, the human rights defenders were unable to walk or stand properly, had uncontrolled shaking of the hands, and marks on the body. One of the activists reportedly attempted to take her own life repeatedly inside the prison.

Those detained in Dhahban Prison include Loujain al-Hathloul, Iman al-Nafjan, Aziza al-Yousef, Samar Badawi, Nassima al-Sada, Mohammad al-Rabe’a and Dr Ibrahim al-Modeimigh.

Several other activists were detained in the ensuing months and remain in detention without charge. These include women’s rights activists Nouf Abdulaziz and Maya’a al-Zahran, as well as activists who had already been persecuted for their human rights work in the past, such as Mohammed al-Bajadi and Khalid al-Omeir, as well as Hatoon al-Fassi, a prominent women’s rights activist and academic, was also reportedly detained shortly after the lifting of the driving ban. Last week, Hatoon al-Fassi recieved the Middle East Studies Association Academic Freedom Award, which was awarded in her absence at the association’s annual meeting.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/11/saudi-arabia-reports-of-torture-and-sexual-harassment-of-detained-activists/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/21/saudi-arabia-tortured-female-right-to-drive-activists-says-amnesty

http://time.com/5460957/saudi-arabia-women-activists-tortured-amnesty/

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-46283364

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-22/saudi-women-who-campaigned-for-the-right-to-drive-tortured/10527104

http://communities.lawsociety.org.uk/story.aspx?storyCode=5066521&preview=1&hash=F23478BA6205FF748D67391AA520269A

http://communities.lawsociety.org.uk/international/international-rule-of-law/lawyers-at-risk/

N.B.: Dr. Ibrahim al-Modeimigh is a human rights lawyer.

https://www.lci.fr/international/electrocution-coups-de-fouets-des-militantes-feministes-torturees-en-arabie-saoudite-selon-amnesty-international-2105251.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.liberation.fr/direct/element/des-militantes-feministes-torturees-en-arabie-saoudite_90247/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.nouvelobs.com/monde/20181121.OBS5775/en-arabie-saoudite-des-feministes-torturees-pour-avoir-demande-la-fin-du-systeme-patriarcal.html (FRANCAIS)

Image may contain: 1 person, beard, eyeglasses and text

Saudi Arabia/Right Livelihood Award: ‘Alternative Nobel’ urges freedom for 3 Saudi activists

November 14, 2018

2018 Right Livelihood Award Laureates Abdullah Al-Hamid, Waleed Abu Al-Khair and Mohammad Fahad Al-Qahtani. Photo Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0/Ahmed al-Osaimi (Blurred from Original)

The Right Livelihood Award — known as the “Alternative Nobel” — appealed Wednesday on Saudi Arabia to free three jailed human rights defenders and recipients of this year’s prize.

The foundation also urged that the kingdom stop “harassing and killing those who fight” for democracy. Ole von Uexkull, foundation head, said the three jailed Saudi men had “acted through peaceful means” in their activism.

Created in 1980, the annual Right Livelihood Award honors efforts that the prize founder, Swedish-German philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull, felt were being ignored by the Nobel prizes.

In September, the 1 million kronor ($110) cash award was given to three Saudi activists — Abdullah al-Hamid, Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani and Waleed Abu al-Khair. The honorary award was given to two Latin American anti-corruption crusaders — Thelma Aldana of Guatemala and Colombia’s Ivan Velasquez.

The foundation said two family members and Yahya Assiri, another Saudi rights activist, will attend the award ceremony planned in Stockholm next week.

Al-Qahtani and al-Hamid are founding activists of the Saudi Association for Civil and Political Rights, known by its Arabic acronym HASEM. In 2013, they were sentenced to 10 and 11 years respectively. Soon after, other verdicts followed against nearly a dozen members. The sentences came in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings in the Mideast.

The third Saudi recipient, activist and lawyer Al-Khair, defended a blogger sentenced to prison and lashings over his posts. Al-Khair was arrested in 2014 for signing a statement with dozens of others calling for reforms in the kingdom. He later received a 15-year sentence for “disobeying the ruler” and “harming the reputation of the state by communicating with international organizations,” likely over his work as an outspoken activist.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/alternative-nobel-urges-freedom-saudi-activists-59185344

https://www.wral.com/-alternative-nobel-urges-freedom-for-3-saudi-activists/17993697/

https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2018/nov/15/saudis-urged-free-3-human-rights-activists-honored/

https://www.rightlivelihoodaward.org/media/calling-for-the-release-of-the-saudi-laureates-of-the-2018-right-livelihood-award/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/11/15/saudi-arabia-rights-abuses-under-scrutiny

https://www.rightlivelihoodaward.org/

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/uk-index.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludovic_Trarieux_International_Human_Rights_Prize

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abulkhair

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abu_al-Khair (FRANCAIS)

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/ (FRANCAIS)

http://pulsoslp.com.mx/2018/11/14/nobel-alternativo-pide-liberacion-de-sauditas-galardonados-este-ano/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.radiohelsinki.fi/podcastit/missa-sailytamme-elamaa/ (FINNISH)

Turkey: Persecution of Turkish Lawyers | October 2018|14 Lawyers were sentenced

October 17, 2018

Image result for The Arrested Lawyers Initiative

Manisa 3rd High Assize Court sentences 11 lawyers to long imprisonment after two-year trial. Members of Manisa Bar Associations Ali Özcel, İsa Koşar, Besim Yücel, Gökhan Çelik, Kadir Çelik, Hüseyin Azman, Yalçın Cabar, Haluk Bedel, Hasan Gürhan Onat, Sadettin Yılmaz, and former president of Bar Association, Zeynel Balkız who were first taken into custody on August 2016 were sentenced under the article 314/2 of Turkish Penal Code that punishes membership to an armed terrorist organization.

The Court sentenced,

  • lawyer Zeynel Balkız to 2 years and 1 month,
  • lawyers Gökhan Çelik, Kadir Çelik, Hüseyin Azman, Yalçın Cabar to 6¼ years,
  • lawyers Ali Özcel, İsa Koşar, Besim Yücel to 6 years and 10 months,
  • lawyers Haluk Bedel, Hasan Gürhan Onat, Sadettin Yılmaz to 7½ years,

The Court also decided to keep lawyers Hasan Gürhan Onat and Sadettin Yılmaz in remand during the appeal procedure.

Persecution of Turkish Lawyers | October 2018|14 Lawyers were sentenced

https://stockholmcf.org/un-anel-to-turkish-govt-prosecution-based-on-alleged-use-of-bylock-violates-civil-and-political-rights/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/23/international-court-jamal-khashoggi-killers-un?fbclid=IwAR3b7tjWQ6mYTYRnXj2mBu8M-dMgialpj_anbME4TY2hGEYSn5-6v0Lbt9I

Statement by The Arrested Lawyers Initiative on the occasion Of European Lawyers Day

https://m.haberler.com/amp/manisa-daki-feto-davasinda-avukatlara-hapis-cezasi-11342936-haberi/?fbclid=IwAR1L2Hl7zvMgiJOIgxbDMJ0FD-LFm0UFfxLNDs4afPBEJIELDy4i1GdmYyA (TURKCE)

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer