Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia/Iran/Syria: MENA: Participants at Gulf and Neighbouring Platform call for immediate release of all detained human rights defenders in the Middle East

January 24, 2018

On 22 January 2018, partners of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) called for the release of all detained human rights defenders in the Middle East. At the event, hosted in Beirut by GCHR and Media Association for Peace (MAP), human rights defenders were joined by Michel Forst, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders, and representatives of Front Line Defenders, FIDH, CIVICUS and Amnesty International to make the public call to free their colleagues.

Host Khalid Ibrahim, GCHR’s Executive Director, mentioned some of the many human rights defenders jailed across the region, including GCHR’s two co-founders Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and Nabeel Rajab in Bahrain, and GCHR Advisory Board member Ahmed Mansoor, jailed in the United Arab Emirates since March 2017. He noted that just as GCHR was being founded, Al-Khawaja was arrested, tortured and jailed in April 2011. He’s serving a life sentence for his peaceful human rights activities. Rajab is also serving a two-year sentence and facing up to 15 years in another trial on 21 February.

Ibrahim also noted other cases from the Gulf region and neighbouring countries, including in Syria of Razan Zaitouneh, Samira Al-Khail, Wa’el Hamadeh, Nazem Hammadi, Khalil Ma’touq and Mohamed Thatha. He mentioned some of the many dozens of human rights defenders jailed in Saudi Arabia, including Dr. Mohammed Al-Qahtani, Issa Al-Nukheifi, Essam Koshak, Walid Abu Al-Khair and Raif Badawi. In Oman, Internet activist Hassan Al-Basham is in jail, and in Kuwait, Sulaiman Bin Jassim was sentenced to seven years. In Iran, there are also many human rights defenders serving long sentences such as Narges Mohammadi, Atena Daemi and Dr. Abdolfattah Soltani. There are many others in Bahrain including Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace.





http://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/1774 (ARABIC)


Saudi Arabia/AI: Embassy vigil for jailed Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi

January 9, 2018

Waleed Abulkhair in November 2012

English PEN, along with Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders, will stage a lunchtime vigil on 9 January 2018 from 1 to 2pm at the Saudi Arabia Embassy in London, for the jailed Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi, to mark three years since he was given 50 lashes.

Mr Badawi, a  father-of-three who was detained more than five years ago, has been sentenced to ten years in jail and to be flogged 1,000 times for setting up a website focused on social and political debate in the country.

After Badawi was given his first batch of 50 lashes in a public square in the city of Jeddah on 9 January 2015, an international outcry appears to have led to the indefinite postponement of further floggings being carried out.

The blogger’s wife Ensaf Haidar, who lives in Canada, has led a high-profile campaign calling for her husband’s release. However, Badawi remains behind bars in Saudi Arabia.

Amnesty has long considered Raif Badawi a prisoner of conscience and has been critical of the UK Government for failing to speak out strongly about his case.

Amnesty is also raising the plight of Badawi’s lawyer, Waleed Abu al-Khair, who has also been jailed for 15 years – on various spurious charges, including “disobeying the ruler and seeking to remove his legitimacy”.








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

http://lepersoneeladignita.corriere.it/2018/01/09/tre-anni-fa-le-50-frustate-al-blogger-saudita-raif-badawi/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.es.amnesty.org/en-que-estamos/blog/historia/articulo/lucharemos-hasta-que-todos-los-presos-y-presas-de-conciencia-en-arabia-saudi-queden-libres/ (ESPANOL)


Saudi Arabia: Release Waleed Abu al-Khair and Allow Medical Treatment | Joint Letter

November 24, 2017

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) and the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA) write to request again that Saudi Arabia, in accordance with its international law obligations:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally release Walled Abu al-Khair; and,
  2. Vacate the conviction and sentence wrongly imposed on 6 July 2014.

LRWC, L4L and UIA are particularly concerned that Waleed Abu al-Khair be released immediately from prison to enable him access to the competent medical care and treatment needed to restore his health and wellbeing and prevent further deterioration.


On 6 July 2014 the Specialized Criminal Court sentenced prominent human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair to 15 years in prison, a SAR 200,000 fine, a travel ban of 15 years following release and a five year suspension of the prison sentence. On 15 February 2015 the Specialized Criminal Court of Appeal reversed the 5-year suspension. The charges, trial process and sentence were not in accordance with international norms of due process and Mr. Abu al-Khair’s detention is arbitrary, based solely on his human rights and legal advocacy. Furthermore, treatment of Mr. Abu al-Khair constitutes and a gross violation of Saudi Arabia’s international human rights obligations.

International call for release

The gravity of the continuing human rights abuses against Mr. Abu al-Khair has been noted by state and civil society bodies around the world including former United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. On July 10, 2014[1] Ms. Pillay denounced the continuing trend of harassment and Saudi Arabia’s use of overbroad and vague counter-terrorism legislation to imprison innocent human rights defenders. She stated: “Proceedings against human rights defenders in the Specialised Penal Court, as well as in other courts in Saudi Arabia, have fallen short of international fair trial standards.” Ms. Pillay expressed deep concern over Mr. Abu al-Khair’s imprisonment and urged Saudi authorities to release him and others arbitrarily detained for peaceful advocacy of human rights.


Saudi Arabia: Imprisoned Waleed Abu al-Khair receives another human rights award


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

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/fr-page3.remplt2015.htm (FRANCAIS)

Saudi Arabia: Le Canada mobilisé en faveur du blogueur séoudien Raif Badawi

le 8 juillet, 2017

«Circulez il n’y a rien à voir » c’est en substance ce que vient de déclarer à Ottawa l’Ambassadeur d’Arabie Saoudite à propos du dossier du blogueur saoudien Raif Badawi. La femme de ce dernier et ses trois enfants trois enfants ont obtenu l’asile politique au Canada et résident à Sherbrooke au Québec, a été condamné par la justice saoudienne en 2012. 10 ans de prison, 1000 coups de fouet et près de 200 000 € d’amende pour avoir réclamé sur son blog une plus grande tolérance envers les non musulmans et une plus grande ouverture d’esprit dans le royaume. Le jugement précisait : apostasie et insulte à l’islam.

Mobilisation internationale

La première séance de flagellation a eu lieu en public devant une mosquée de Djeddah. Par la suite les autres séances ont été interrompues pour « raison médicale » à la suite d’une intense mobilisation internationale et de l’ONU. L’impression générale était que le dossier Badawi était gelé et que l’on attendait à Ryad un moment propice pour le libérer. Pourtant, selon des indications déjà ancienne, on a prêté au Royaume saoudien l’intention d’entreprendre une nouvelle action en justice pour apostasie avec à la clef la possibilité d’une condamnation à mort. Et puis de nouveau le silence…

Depuis le début de sa détention et en dehors de l’intervention des états, le blogueur saoudien a reçu de très nombreux prix récompensant les défenseurs des droits de l’homme notamment le prix Sakharov en 2015. Il a été également proposé la même année pour le prix Nobel de la Paix.L’avocat de Raif Badawi, Waleed Abu al-Khair, militant des droits de l’homme également, a pour l’occasion écopé de 15 ans de prison à son tour.


Saudi Arabia: Free imprisoned human rights lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair now!

July 6, 2017

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, close-up

Today marks 3 years since the Saudi Arabian anti-terrorism court sentenced human rights lawyer Waleed Abulkhair to 15 years in prison for “inciting public opinion” and “harming the reputation of the Kingdom.” He is languishing in prison today because he spoke out against the oppression and injustice of the Saudi dictatorial regime and called for political reform so he and his fellow citizens can live in freedom.

Take action and call for his release by contacting the Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia to the U.N.: usmis@mofa.gov.sa

Learn more at


(Human Rights Foundation (HRF) Facebook)

Saudi Arabia: 1,000 Lashes For Raif Badawi

June 16, 2017

Every Friday morning, a small group of us, sometimes three, sometimes five, hold a vigil outside the Embassy of Saudi Arabia. We’re the most genteel and well-behaved protestors anyone could want, yet the embassy always posts a guard behind the railings, watching and monitoring us.

As they must be watching and monitoring vigils across the world every Friday morning. Because we’re not the only ones outraged by a barbaric, medieval sentence on a man who merely used peaceful words.

Five years ago, on 17th June 2012 Raif Badawi was arrested by the Saudi Arabian authorities, for allegedly “insulting Islam through electronic channels”. Raif had taken to his keyboard and set up a liberal website. An action which would have gone completely unremarked in this country and many others.

It will also mark the birthday of Waleed Abu Al-Khair.

Waleed is also in prison in Saudi Arabia, a lawyer who represented Raif Badawi in court, and who happens to be Raif Badawi’s brother-in-law. A man who’s spent his life fighting the abuse of human rights in Saudi Arabia. It appears the kingdom took its revenge by convicting him on charges including ‘striving to overthrow the state and the authority of the King’; ‘criticising and insulting the judiciary’; ‘assembling international organisations against the Kingdom’; and ‘inciting public opinion’. After all Waleed is a man who’s won the Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize; been awarded the Swiss Freethinker Prize and been twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. This is the 4th year Waleed will be spending a birthday in prison.





http://quebec.huffingtonpost.ca/evelyne-abitbol-/emprisonnement-raif-badawi_b_17121574.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.amnesty.fr/presse/arabie-saoudite-il-faut-librer-le-blogueur-raif-ba (FRANCAIS)

http://quebec.huffingtonpost.ca/evelyne-abitbol-/emprisonnement-raif-badawi_b_17121574.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.amnesty.org/es/latest/news/2017/06/saudi-arabia-release-blogger-raif-badawi-still-behind-bars-after-five-years/ (ESPANOL)

Saudi Arabia: FREE WALEED

Payá in Havana in 2005. (Claudia Daut/Reuters)
Waleed Abulkhair, a Saudi Arabian human rights lawyer, was imprisoned for signing a petition calling for democracy, and for criticizing the Saudi Arabian government on news outlets and on Twitter. Now you have the chance to take action on Waleed’s behalf.

Freedom of Expression in Saudi Arabia

Freedom of expression is the right to share your thoughts and opinions, as well as the right to receive information from any source you choose. This means that you can criticize anyone, whether that’s the president, a neighbor, or anyone you disagree with. You can watch any TV show, read any books and newspapers, and access any websites you want.

However, while most governments have the power to limit freedom of expression, non-democracies often abuse this power. One way they do so is by imprisoning people who speak out against the government; another way to limit freedom of expression is by controlling the media. They do this by blocking websites, shutting down news outlets and social media sites, and harassing journalists and activists.

Saudi Arabia is ruled by a king who can create whatever laws he wants at any time. The royal family has complete control over most media outlets, and Saudi citizens are often imprisoned for criticizing the king, religion, or politics. HRF’s Free Speech Unlimited project lists Saudi Arabia among the worst offenders when it comes to prohibiting free speech.