Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

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)

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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

Saudi Arabia/Turkey/OHCHR: Saudi Arabia must immediately release all women’s rights defenders, say UN experts

October 12, 2018

Image result for ohchr

UN human rights experts* are urging Saudi Arabia to immediately and unconditionally release all women human rights defenders, including six defenders who remain in jail on charges relating to their peaceful defence of human rights.

Ms. Israa Al-Ghomgham was detained in 2015 for her involvement in peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations in 2011. Ms. Samar Badawi, Ms. Nassima Al-Sadah, Ms. Nouf Abdulaziz, Ms. Mayya Al-Zahrani, and Ms. Hatoon Al-Fassi – who had been particularly active in campaigning for women’s rights, including the right to vote and to drive – have been in pre-trial detention for the past four months.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the actions of the Saudi authorities against these women human rights defenders and we call on them, as a matter of urgency, to immediately release and drop the charges against all of them,” the experts said.

Ms. Samar Badawi, Ms. Nassima Al-Sadah, Ms. Nouf Abdulaziz, Ms. Mayya Al-Zahrani, and Ms. Hatoon Al-Fassi are all being held in incommunicado detention. “We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately make the whereabouts of these five human rights defenders known and to grant them access to their families and lawyers,” the experts said.

The experts expressed acute concern for Ms. Israa Al-Ghomgham, who is being tried in Riyadh’s Specialised Criminal Court – set up to handle terrorism-related cases, for charges that appear to lack legal bases. She has had no legal representation during her trial.

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23719&LangID=E

https://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/8959651-dissenting-voices-silenced-as-saudi-reform-agenda-goes-awry/

https://www.france24.com/en/20181009-saudis-crown-prince-reformism-authoritarianism

https://www.thedailybeast.com/khashoggi-disappearance-is-part-of-a-ruthless-saudi-campaign-to-crush-dissent

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/khashoggi-case-chilling-message-dissidents-worldwide-181011151615981.html

https://www.rte.ie/news/world/2018/1010/1002345-saudi/

https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/1975

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

https://www.boursorama.com/actualite-economique/actualites/mohammed-ben-salmane-entre-reformisme-et-autoritarisme-7df2d6da9e1b32b9a83f9a21fc56a485 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.nzz.ch/international/fall-khashoggi-usa-fordern-gruendliche-untersuchung-ld.1426731 (DEUTSCH)

https://blogs.oglobo.globo.com/guga-chacra/post/ao-mesmo-tempo-que-selecao-jogar-em-riad.html (PORTUGUES)

http://www.mingpaocanada.com/tor/htm/News/20181008/ttaa2_r.htm (CHINESE)

Nigeria/Saudi Arabia: Chimamanda Adichie wins 2018 PEN Pinter prize for ‘outstanding’ literary work

October 11, 2018

Chimamanda Adichie has been endowed with the 2018 PEN Pinter prize for her outstanding work of literary merit that has defined the truth in human lives and societies.

The critically acclaimed author was given the coveted prize at an award-giving ceremony, which took place at the British Library in the United Kingdom, on Tuesday.

Adichie was selected by this year’s judges, Inua Ellams, Philippe Sands, Antonia Fraser and Chair of English PEN and Chair of Judges, Maureen Freely.

She is the first African to have clinched the award which is focused on defending and promoting freedom of expression, while removing barriers to literature.

At the ceremony, Adichie named Waleed Abulkhair, a lawyer and human rights activist, as the 2018 International Writer of Courage, a title awarded by the PEN Pinter winner each year.

Congratulating the Saudi Arabian lawyer and activist, she said: I am proud to share this year’s PEN Pinter Prize with activist, lawyer and writer Waleed Abulkhair.

“Waleed has dedicated his life to holding the Saudi authorities accountable for human rights abuses. He has dedicated his life to speaking out, to supporting the victims of those abuses.

“Waleed, like Harold Pinter, has shown a lucid dedication to telling his truth. But rather than being lauded for this dedication, Waleed has paid a heavy price – 15 years behind bars.

“I am deeply proud to share this prize with Waleed and I hope that this small act of solidarity will bring him some comfort, and will remind him that his struggle has not been forgotten, nor will it be in vain.

https://www.thenewsguru.com/chimamanda-adichie-wins-2018-pen-pinter-prize-outstanding-literary-work/

https://www.adhrb.org/2018/07/4-years-later-waleed-abu-al-khair-remains-imprisoned-in-saudi-arabia-for-his-human-rights-work/

https://theintercept.com/2018/10/06/saudi-arabia-women-driving-activists-exile/

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

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

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

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

Image result for waleed abu al-khair

Saudi Arabia: ‘Saudi Arabia should be shunned by civilised nations for human rights violations’

October 1, 2018

saudi-collage

When advocating for basic human rights becomes dissent, stronger voices continue to rise in the hope that they will one day be heard. In an honour for such visionaries, on September 24, the Right Livelihood Award—known as the Alternative Nobel—was awarded to three jailed Saudi human rights activists—Mohammad al-Qahtani, Waleed Abu al-Khair and Abdullah al-Hamid—and two anti-corruption crusaders from Latin America.

The Saudi activists were chosen for ‘their visionary and courageous efforts, guided by universal human rights principles, to reform the totalitarian political system in Saudi Arabia.’ Mohammad al-Qahtani and Adullah al-Hamid have been active participants of Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA). Waleed, a lawyer and activist, was detained because he defended Samar Badawi and her blogger brother, Raif Badawi. Raif Badawi was a human rights activist who criticised the Saudi monarchy in his blog. For this, he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and 1,000 lashes.

Daniel Arshack, Waleed Abu al-Khair’s attorney, also spoke to THE WEEK on the case and the way ahead.

Excerpts:

As per a report in 2014, Waleed was not being treated as an innocent dissident, he was being denied food. What is the status of prison conditions now?

I believe that his conditions in prison improved after he went on a hunger strike. He was finally given some access to the Quran. Waleed has medical issues, including diabetes, that are not being adequately addressed. He has no access to newspapers and his mail and his right to visits are severely limited. Even I, as his lawyer, have been denied access to see him.

Daniel Arshack

Last heard in 2016, Samar Badawi was arrested. What is the status on possible freedom of the detainees including Samar, Raif Badawi and Waleed.

In 2016, Waleed’s former wife, Samar Badawi, was arrested for public advocacy of women’s rights and then released and a travel ban was placed against her. Then on July 30, 2018, she was arrested and imprisoned again and she continues to be detained based on her asking for equal rights for women in Saudi Arabia. Waleed was Samar’s lawyer before they were married. Later Waleed represented Samar’s brother, Raif Badawi, also an outspoken critic of the dictatorship who called for the establishment of a constitutional monarchy and was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes.

https://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2018/10/01/saudi-arabia-should-be-shunned-civilised-nations-human-rights-violations.html

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/09/saudi-human-rights-activists-awarded-alternative-nobel-prize-180924112109072.html

https://www.adhrb.org/2018/07/4-years-later-waleed-abu-al-khair-remains-imprisoned-in-saudi-arabia-for-his-human-rights-work/

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

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

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

 

Saudi Arabia: 3 Saudi human rights activists awarded “Alternative Nobel”

September 24, 2018

Image result for waleed abu al-khair

The Right Livelihood Award — known as the “Alternative Nobel” — was awarded Monday to three jailed Saudi human rights defenders and two Latin American anti-corruption crusaders.

The prize foundation said the 1 million kronor ($113,400) cash award for 2018 was to be shared by Abdullah al-Hamid, Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani and Waleed Abu al-Khair “for their visionary and courageous efforts, guided by universal human rights principles, to reform the totalitarian political system in Saudi Arabia.”

The 2018 honorary award was given to Thelma Aldana of Guatemala and Colombia’s Ivan Velasquez “for their innovative work in exposing abuse of power and prosecuting corruption.”

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.

Al-Qahtani and Al-Hamid were 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.

Activist and lawyer Al-Khair, who defended a blogger sentenced to prison and lashings over his posts, 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/saudi-human-rights-activists-awarded-alternative-nobel-58035606

https://www.dw.com/en/alternative-nobel-prize-awarded-for-pratical-fixes-to-global-problems/a-45603287

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/3-saudi-human-rights-activists-awarded-alternative-nobel/2018/09/24/e3711754-bfc7-11e8-9f4f-a1b7af255aa5_story.html?utm_term=.d347f5ceba21

https://www.france24.com/en/20180924-guatemala-anti-corruption-duo-wins-swedish-rights-prize

Laureates of the 2018 Right Livelihood Award announced

https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/1959

https://www.lrwc.org/saudi-arabia-three-saudi-arabian-human-rights-advocates-awarded-the-2018-right-livelihood-award-news/

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

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

https://www.france24.com/fr/20180924-guatemala-le-prix-right-livelihood-a-deux-artisans-lutte-anti-corruption (FRANCAIS)

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

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

https://www.elpais.com.co/mundo/un-colombiano-y-una-guatemalteca-galardonados-con-premio-nobel-alternativo.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.svz.de/deutschland-welt/panorama/Alternativer-Nobelpreis-2018-fuer-drei-saudische-Menschenrechtler-id21130807.html (DEUTSCH)

https://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2018/09/24/news/tre_attivisti_sauditi_vincitori_nobel_alternativo-207219218/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.terra.com.br/noticias/nobel-alternativo-premia-luta-contra-corrupcao-na-guatemala,f25ece215919568dc9fe31ac0ffa0438jrwhvlm8.html (PORTUGUES)

https://www.zougla.gr/kosmos/article/aponemi8ikan-ta-enalaktika-vravia-nompel (GREEK)

https://www.stiripesurse.ro/doi-avocati-care-au-condus-lupta-impotriva-abuzului-de-putere-si-a-coruptiei-in-guatemala-au-fost-desemnati-castigatori-ai-premiului-nobelul-alternativ_1291165.html (ROMANIAN)

Saudi Arabia: Number of prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia increases to 2,613

September 17, 2018

The number of prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia has increased to 2,613 detainees, according to Saudi human rights sources.

The Twitter account of Prisoners of Conscience concerned with the detainees in Saudi Arabia stated in a tweet that: “the number of prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia has increased to 2,613 detainees.”

The Twitter account added that “prominent lawyers, judges, academics, Muslim scholars, and media professionals” were among the detainees.

It is noteworthy that there are detainees in the Kingdom who have been imprisoned for more than 10 years either under sentences approved by the court against them or without charges and judicial rulings.

Since September 10, 2017, there have been hundreds of arrests in Saudi Arabia, despite human rights activists’ denunciation, and calls from international organisations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International to immediately release detainees, and precedent calls to immediately disclose their whereabouts and allow them to communicate with their families and lawyers.

In May, the arrests reached human rights activists and feminist activists. They were accused by authorities of having connections with foreign parties as a result of their activity on women’s rights.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180917-number-of-prisoners-of-conscience-in-saudi-arabia-increases-to-2613/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/09/11/saudi-arabia-free-right-drive-activists

https://www.eurasiareview.com/12092018-saudi-arabia-should-free-right-to-drive-activists-says-hrw/

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/saudi-arabia-women-drivers-protest-friend-in-jail-op-ed

https://reliefweb.int/report/world/39th-session-human-rights-council-opening-statement-un-high-commissioner-human-rights

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/09/16/574312/Over-2500-antiregime-activists-being-held-in-Saudi-detention-centers-Group

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

https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2018/09/11/arabie-saoudite-liberer-les-militantes-des-droits-des-femmes-detenues (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1134624/lautre-justin-trudeau.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.marianne.net/monde/raif-et-samar-badawi-lutter-contre-le-pere-avant-de-lutter-pour-les-droits-des-saoudiens (FRANCAIS)

http://www.elmundo.es/opinion/2018/09/17/5b9e54bb22601d75658b45d4.html (ESPANOL)