April 26, 2019
Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia
April 15, 2019
Saudi authorities should immediately release the prominent human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair, who was sentenced in 2014 to 15 years in prison solely for his peaceful human rights advocacy, Human Rights Watch said today.
April 11, 2019
On 09 April 2019, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) received a list of at least 13 names of human rights defenders, including women’s rights activists, who are confirmed to have been arrested in Saudi Arabia this month. The Saudi authorities carried out a new wave of arrests of writers and social media bloggers who were previously engaged in public discourse on reforms.
Since 04 April, many Saudi activists and bloggers, including academics, have been tweeting intensively about this new crackdown. The international community is still struggling to reason with, put pressure on and hold Saudi Arabia accountable for its human rights violations. This includes the arbitrary arrest and torture of women human rights defenders, including prominent women’s rights activist Loujain Al-Hathloul, who has yet to be released on bail as expected yet. The Saudi authorities continue to ignore, deny and act with utmost impunity and intransigence.
GCHR’s source (who must be kept anonymous for their safety) stated that “these arrests were orchestrated since February and linked to their support for the women activists’ families.” GCHR believes that Saudi Arabia is exerting every effort to shut down civic space, silence the human rights community and exterminate the feminist movement in the kingdom.
The list of names includes:
- Salah Al-Haidar, Aziza Al-Yousef’s son and a US citizen
- Bader Al-Ibrahim, Saudi-US citizen (writer & physician)
- Mohammed Al-Sadiq (writer)
- Thumar Al-Marzouqi (writer)
- Khadijah Al-Harbi (feminist writer), the wife of Thumar Al-Marzouqi, pregnant
- Fahad Abalkhail (an activist who previously supported the women driving) https://youtu.be/qQkXXicGpso
- Abdullah Al-Dehailan (writer)
- Naif Al-Hendas (writer)
- Ayman Al-Drees (writer and translator)
- Moqbel Al-Saqqar (novelist)
- Abdullah Al-Shehri (lawyer)
- Redha Al-Bori (blogger and writer)
- Ali Al-Saffar (writer)
Shaikhah Al-Urf, the wife of the detained lawyer Abdullah Al-Shehri, has also been suspected as detained because of lost communication with her, but her arrest couldn’t be confirmed
Anas Al-Mazrou, a lecturer at King Saud university, has also been detained after posting a question in a public panel at Riyadh Book Fair last month on the whereabouts of the jailed human rights and women activists.
The newly-detained activists and human rights defenders are being held incommunicado, while their families remain without any contact with them and unaware of their whereabouts and/or the charges against them, to date.
Saudi Arabia: Nomination of Waleed Abu al-Khair for the 2019 ABA International Human Rights Award | Joint Letter
March 29, 2019
Waleed Abu al-Khair, unlawfully imprisoned for his work as a human rights lawyer since 15 April 2014, has been nominated for the 2019
American Bar Association Human Rights Award jointly by LRWC, Lawyers for Lawyers, Union Internationale des Avocats and the Law Society of England and Wales.
JOINT NOMINATION LETTER
In accordance with the request of the American Bar Association (ABA) for nominees for the 2019 ABA International Human Rights Award, the following organizations —Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L), the Law Society of England and Wales (LSEW) and the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA) —recommend and nominate human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair of Saudi Arabia for the 2019 ABA International Human Rights Award.
Waleed Abu al-Khair is one of the best-known advocates for democratic and human rights reform in Saudi Arabia. He has used the written and spoken word coupled with his legal knowledge to fearlessly advocate for reforms to improve the lives of all in Saudi Arabia by calling on the Government of 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 has done this work through writing and public speaking, by representing causes and clients unpopular with the Government of Saudi Arabia, by providing a safe space for peaceful discussion of issues of public concern and by providing people with an example of responsible advocacy for justice for all. At the risk of his own personal and professional safety and security, Waleed Abu al-Khair persisted in using his training and skills as a lawyer to be an outspoken advocate for an elected parliament, an independent judiciary, a constitutional monarchy and recognition of internationally protected human rights. He has also advocated on behalf of prisoners of conscience and written many articles identifying human rights abuses and the need for legal reform. He recommended reliance on the rule of law and proper legal procedures to effect reform and settle disputes and differences of opinion and never advocated or used violence as a means of opposition.
March 28, 2019
Saudi Arabian authorities arrested a law professor who teaches at King Saud University in the capital Riyadh, hours after he criticised the kingdom’s human rights record, media outlet Arabi21 reported.
Speaking at the Riyadh International Book Fair on Thursday, Anas al-Mazrouee denounced Saudi Arabia’s arrest and detention of women’s rights and other human rights activists.
He criticised the kingdom’s crackdown on dissent, calling out the government for claiming it champions women’s rights while it was arresting women activists.
Abdullah al-Ouda – son of detained Saudi cleric Salman al-Ouda, who has been held since 2017 – said that the professor was arrested shortly after giving his talk at the fair.
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.
December 24, 2018
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.