Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

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://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ravinder-randhawa/raif-badawi_b_17148428.html

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

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tippling/2017/06/17/another-call-release-raif-badawi/

https://theferret.scot/saudi-blogger-raif-badawi-deteriorating-five-years-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.

Saudi Arabia: Free Imprisoned Human Rights Lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair Immediately!

March 29, 2017

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#WaleedWednesday should be with together with his family & not be in prison #FreeWaleed immediately

(Marco Tombesi Facebook)

Saudi Arabia/Canada: Two exceptional human rights defenders honoured by Law Society

February 23, 2017

Law Society Treasurer Paul B. Schabas congratulates the recipients of the Law Society’s 2016 Human Rights Award: Cindy Blackstock, PhD (left), and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada Executive Director Gail Davidson (right), who accepted the award on behalf of human rights defender and activist Waleed Abu al-Khair, who has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia since 2014 for his human rights activities. Dr. Blackstock and Abu al-Khair both received the award at a special ceremony in Toronto on February 22,  in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the advancement of human rights and the promotion of the rule of law provincially, nationally and internationally. (CNW Group/The Law Society of Upper Canada)

The Law Society of Upper Canada honoured two exceptional human rights advocates last night at Osgoode Hall.

Human rights defenders Waleed Abu al-Khair and Cindy Blackstock, PhD, were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of human rights and the promotion of the rule of law provincially, nationally and internationally.

“We are extremely pleased to honour Dr. Blackstock and Mr. Abu al-Khair, both of whom have shown remarkable courage and conviction in their tireless efforts to promote human rights, said Law Society Treasurer Paul B. Schabas at the evening ceremony. “Through Dr. Blackstock’s efforts to address systemic discrimination of First Nations children, she has made a significant and lasting contribution that will have a powerful impact on generations of First Nations children,” he said. “Mr. Abu al-Khair has sacrificed a great deal. In honouring him with the Law Society’s Human Rights Award, we say to him, and to others like him, your sacrifice does not go unrecognized,” said Treasurer Schabas.

Recipient Waleed Abu al-Khair, 37, has been arbitrarily imprisoned in Saudi Arabia since April 15, 2014. He is a prominent human rights lawyer and activist and is the founder of the organization the Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia. He has worked tirelessly to defend human rights and the rule of law for all — in the face of extreme adversity and at the cost of his own freedom. Gail Davidson, Executive Director of Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, accepted the award on his behalf.

“Waleed began practising law in 2007 and since then 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 to allow its citizens to enjoy internationally protected rights such as rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly and the right to participate in public affairs. He has also advocated passionately for the equal rights of women and on behalf of prisoners of conscience,” Davidson said.

http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/two-exceptional-human-rights-defenders-honoured-by-law-society-614639784.html

http://www.lawsocietygazette.ca/news/extraordinary-night-for-human-rights-and-the-rule-of-law/

http://www.newswire.ca/fr/news-releases/deux-defenseurs-exceptionnels-des-droits-de-la-personne-honores-par-le-barreau-614640034.html (FRANCAIS)

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Saudi Arabia: Imprisoned Activist Waleed Abu al-Khair Earns Human Rights Award | Human Rights Watch Press Release

February 18, 2017

Saudi Arabia: Imprisoned Activist Earns Human Rights Award
Waleed Abu al-Khair Serving 15 Years for Peaceful Activism

(Beirut, February 20, 2017) – The Law Society of Upper Canada’s selection of the imprisoned Saudi human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair for its 2016 Human Rights Award highlights Saudi Arabia’s brutal repression of peaceful activists and dissidents, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi authorities should immediately and unconditionally release Abu al-Khair, who was sentenced in 2014 to 15 years in prison for his peaceful human rights advocacy, so that he can attend the award ceremony in Toronto on February 22, 2017.

Saudi courts have convicted at least 20 prominent peaceful activists and dissidents since 2011. Many, like Abu al-Khair, have faced sentences as long as 10 or 15 years on broad, catch-all charges – such as “breaking allegiance with the ruler” or “participating in protests” – that do not constitute recognizable crimes.

“Every day Waleed Abu al-Khair spends in prison compounds the injustice Saudi Arabia has imposed on him and his family,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Continued recognition of Abu al-Khair’s human rights work demonstrates that Saudi Arabia’s repression of peaceful activists and dissidents generates wide notice and criticism.”

Abu al-Khair has been one of Saudi Arabia’s leading human rights advocates for years.

http://www.lrwc.org/saudi-arabia-imprisoned-activist-waleed-abu-al-khair-earns-human-rights-award-human-rights-watch-press-release/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/02/20/saudi-arabia-imprisoned-activist-earns-human-rights-award

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/23777

https://www.hrw.org/ar/news/2017/02/20/300236 (العربية)

http://www.lrwc.org/saudi-arabia-hands-off-samar-badawi-says-lrwc-letter/

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/saudi-arabia/2017/02/d24209/

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

Saudi Arabia: Help us #FreeWaleed !

February 16, 2017

Waleed Abu al-Khair is a prominent human rights lawyer and activist in Saudi Arabia and the founder of the Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia. He has worked tirelessly to defend human rights and the rule of law for all – in the face of extreme adversity and at the cost of his own freedom. Currently he is imprisoned for 15 years in Saudi Arabia, and unless he is released will be unable to travel to Toronto to receive the 2016 Law Society of Upper Canada Human Rights Award on February.  TAKE ACTION to help free Waleed in time for the ceremony on February 22nd by tweeting:

3 int’l human rights awards can’t be wrong! Release lawyer @WaleedAbulkhair to receive @LawsocietyLSUC award on Feb 22nd in Toronto
Tweet: 3 int'l human rights awards can't be wrong! Release lawyer @WaleedAbulkhair to receive @LawsocietyLSUC award on Feb 22nd in Toronto

Release @WaleedAbulkhair to receive @LawsocietyLSUC human rights award  – join LRWC in solidarity with @AmnestyNow , UIA and @TheLawSociety
Tweet: Release @WaleedAbulkhair to receive @LawsocietyLSUC human rights award  - join LRWC in solidarity with @AmnestyNow , UIA and @TheLawSociety

https://www.amnesty.ca/blog/help-us-freewaleed

Saudi Arabia: LRWC Requests Support of Petition to Release Waleed Abu al-Khair to Receive Law Society of Upper Canada 2016 Human Rights Award | Letter

January 17, 2017

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Lawyer’s Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) writes to ask you to take action to support our request that the Government of Saudi Arabia immediately take all steps necessary to release Waleed Abu al-Khair from prison and enable him to travel to Canada to receive the Law Society of Upper Canada 2016 Human Rights Award at the award ceremony on 22 February 2017 in Toronto Canada.

Waleed Abu al-Khair

Waleed Abu al-Khair is a world renowned human rights lawyer, democracy advocate and founder of Monitor for Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (MHRSA), currently imprisoned in Dhahban Central Prison in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  He was arrested 14 April 2014 and sentenced on 6 July 2014 to 15 years in prison, a consecutive 15 year travel ban and a 200,000SAR fine.

Calls for the immediate release of Waleed Abu al-Khair

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) in October 2015 recommended that Saudi Arabia immediately release Waleed Abu al-Khair after designating his trial as unfair and his detention as arbitrary and in contravention of Articles 9, 10, 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. [1]  An additional Complaint to the WGAD, filed jointly by LRWC and other international human rights organizations on 15 April 2015,[2] has not, to our knowledge, yet been considered.

http://www.lrwc.org/saudi-arabia-lrwc-requests-support-of-petition-to-release-waleed-abu-al-khair-to-receive-law-society-of-upper-canada-2016-human-rights-award-letter/