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December 12th, 2014

 

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL Saudi Arabia: Two women arrested for driving UA: 308/14 Index: MDE 23/037/2014 Saudi Arabia Date: 11 December 2014   URGENT ACTION    Two Saudi Arabian women have been arrested for driving. Loujain al-Hathloul and Mayssa al-Amoudi, both supporters of the campaign for women’s right to drive in Saudi Arabia, were detained at the al-Batha border crossing with the United Arab Emirates. They are prisoners of conscience.  Both women’s current legal status remains unclear. Their families were informed, but without any explanation, that the detention of both women had been extended for 25 days. The women were interrogated without their lawyers in violation of Saudi Arabian laws, and despite Maysaa al-Amoudi’s lawyer’s repeated requests to see his client.  More…English

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL  PUBLIC STATEMENT    4 December 2014   AI Index: MDE 23/036/2014 Saudi Arabia: the authorities continue to punish activists for speaking up    The Saudi Arabian authorities must release all prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally and stop harassing the country’s remaining free peaceful activists, said Amnesty International today, in the wake of new arrests, court sentences and arbitrary travel bans targeting peaceful activists.   More…Arabic   More…English

Saudi Arabia: Human rights defender Samar Badawi banned from travel prior to EU meeting  The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) is deeply concerned following the travel ban that has been imposed on human rights defender Samar Badawi, who works on defending people’s rights in Saudi Arabia, in particular the rights of prisoners of conscience. On 2 December 2014, Badawi was informed by staff in the Passport Office at King Abdulaziz International Airport that she is not allowed to travel abroad anymore by an order from the Ministry of Interior, without any reason given or any prior investigations. Reports confirm that the travel ban was ordered by the Ministry of Interior following her speech in September about the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Badawi appeared before the Council and called for the release of her husband, prominent human rights lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison earlier this year.  The GCHR believes that this travel ban was imposed on Samar Badawi as a result of her human rights activities, in particular her work to defend freedom of expression in SaudiArabia, and is a blatant attempt to prevent her from carrying out advocacy with international bodies such as the EU or the UN. More…Arabic   More…English

HRW Saudi Arabia: Release Women Driving Activists Police Detain 2 at UAE Border December 2, 2014 (Beirut) – Saudi authorities detained two women on the Saudi side of the border with the United Arab Emirates on December 1, one of whom tried to drive a car across to Saudi Arabia. Saudi activists told Human Rights Watch that Lujain al-Hathloul, 25, and Maysa al-`Amoudi, 33, both Saudis holding valid UAE driving licenses, are in detention but do not know whether they will face criminal charges. Given that both women appear to be detained because they were driving, Saudi officials should immediately release them and end the discriminatory driving ban on women, Human Rights Watch said. More…

Gulf Center For Human Rights   Dec. 2, 2014   Saudi Arabia: Arrest of two activists who defend the women’s right to drive a car. Two activists Maysaa Al-Amodi and Lujain Al-Hathlol have been arrested on 1st December 2014. They have both been working strongly in defense of women’s right to drive in Saudi Arabia and have participated actively in the campaigns, “I have the right to lead” and “my right to my dignity.”The Monitor for Human Rights in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) believes that the targeting of activist Maysaa Al-Amodi and Lujain Al-Hathlol forms part of an ongoing systematic policy of harassment by the Saudi authorities against activists who demand the women’s right to drive a car in Saudi Arabia. Many activists have already been detained and have had their cars seized.    More… Arabic    More…English

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL  Document – Saudi Arabia: Human rights activist faces fresh trial: Mohammed al-Bajadi  Further information on UA: 91/11 Index: MDE 23/032/2014 Saudi Arabia Date: 20 November 2014  URGENT ACTION  Human rights activist faces fresh TRIAL  Prisoner of conscience Mohammed al-Bajadi is being retried on the same charges for which he was sentenced to a four-year prison term in 2012. This retrial, months before his expected release, may well result in a harsher sentence.  Mohammed Saleh al-Bajadi, one of the founders of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), was brought to the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) in Riyadh for retrial on 23 October 2014. He was presented with the same charges for which he is serving a four-year sentence. He has been charged with offences including participating in the founding of an unlicensed organization, harming the image of the state through the media, calling on the families of political detainees to protest and hold sit-ins, contesting the independence of the judiciary and having banned books in his possession.  More. . .

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL Document – Saudi Arabia: Further information: Jail sentence of activist increased on appeal: Fowzan al-Harbi  Further information on UA: 15/14 Index: MDE 23/033/2014 Saudi Arabia Date: 20 November 2014  URGENT ACTION  Jail SENTENCE of activist INCREASED on appeal    Prominent Saudi Arabian human rights activist Fowzan al-Harbi has been detained again, immediately after being told that his sentence had been increased upon appeal. He is a prisoner of conscience.  Fowzan al-Harbi and his lawyer reported on 19 November to the Criminal Court in the capital, Riyadh after a phone call ordering him to appear in court. The judge told him that his 25 June sentence to seven years in prison had been increased to 10 upon appeal and ordered his immediate arrest. Fowzan al-Harbi, who had been detained since 26 December 2013, was released two days before the Criminal Court sentenced him to seven years in prison followed by a travel ban of equal duration. He was free pending his appeal but was banned from using social media and socialising with others. He was convicted of offences including “breaking allegiance” to the ruler by calling for protests, criticizing the authorities and participating in the founding of an “unlicensed organization” (understood to be the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, ACPRA). More. . .

AMNESTY Saudi Arabia: Further information: Human rights defender sentenced again: Mikhlif bin Daham al-Shammari Further information on UA: 169/13 Index: MDE 23/031/2014 Saudi Arabia Date: 17 November 2014    Outspoken human rights defender Mikhlif al-Shammari has been sentenced to two years in prison and 200 lashes in the second case brought against him in two years. Earlier this year, an appeal court upheld a five-year prison sentence against him in the other case. If imprisoned, Amnesty International will consider him a prisoner of conscience. On 6 November the Criminal Court in al-Khobar, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, sentenced Mikhlif bin Daham al-Shammari to two years in prison and 200 lashes after he was found guilty on two key charges: “stirring public opinion by sitting with the Shi’a” and “violating instructions by the rulers by holding a private gathering and tweeting”.   More …

 

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL  Date Published: 11 November 2014 Index Number: MDE 23/030/2014  Saudi Arabia: Lawyers sentenced over ‘offensive’ tweets   A special court sentenced three Saudi Arabian lawyers to between five and eight years in prison over tweets deemed offensive to the Ministry of Justice. If imprisoned Amnesty International will consider them prisoners of conscience.   On 27 October the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) in Riyadh, the capital, sentenced Dr. Abdulrahman al-Subaihi, 39, to eight years in prison to be followed by a 10-year travel ban, Bander al-Nogaithan, 36, and Abdulrahman al-Rumaih, 32, each to five years in prison to be followed by a seven-year travel ban on chargesrelated to the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression. The court also banned all three for anunspecified period of time from talking to or giving interviews to media outlets, and from posting on social media.     … More in Arabic     …More in English

 

17 October 2014 FIDH BAHRAIN: New trial against Nabeel Rajab to start on October 19  On October 19, 2014, the Third Lower Criminal Court will open the trial against Mr. Nabeel Rajab on charge of “insulting a public institution” via Twitter. The alleged offence concern tweets he published on Twitter, which the CID deemed insulting to the Ministry of Interior, pursuant to Article 216 of the Bahraini Penal Code, punishable by up to three years of imprisonment. Mr. Rajab has been detained since the date of his summons for interrogation on October 1.   More…

 

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL 15 October 2014 Saudi Arabia: Appalling death sentence against Shi’a cleric must be quashed  A death sentence passed today against a dissident Shi’a Muslim cleric in Saudi Arabia for “disobeying the ruler”, “inciting sectarian strife” and “encouraging, leading and participating in demonstrations” after a deeply flawed trial is appalling and must be immediately quashed, said Amnesty International. “The death sentence against Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr is part of a campaign by the authorities in Saudi Arabia to crush all dissent, including those defending the rights of the Kingdom’s Shi’a Muslim community,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme. More…  Arabic    English

 

5 Sep, 2014 How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maryam? Bahrain Center for Human Rights  The Bahraini government faces a tricky choice in the coming days as it weighs the political price of jailing leading human rights defender Maryam Al Khawaja. Based abroad for the last few years, Maryam has been a leading advocate against the regime’s human rights abuses. In the early morning hours of Saturday, August 30, she was arrested on a trip back to Bahrain, where authorities must now decide if it’s best to face the condemnation of locking her up for a long time or better to have her return to the international political circuit where she so brilliantly exposes their false claims of reform.   More…   

HRW  Bahrain: Rehabilitate Torture Victims  August 27, 2014 HRW:  Bahrain should provide victims of torture with physical and psychological rehabilitation, Human Rights Watch and other human rights groups said today, based on a letter they sent to King Hamad. In particular, authorities should address the health needs of 13-high profile detainees, some of whom are suffering from the effects of torture by Bahraini interrogators in 2011.  More…

EXECUTION OF SAUDI ARABIAN MAN POSTPONED  AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL:    Hajras al-Qurey was not executed on 25 August, as had been expected, but is still at imminent risk of execution. Hajras bin Saleh bin Muhammad al-Qurey was transferred from his prison cell to a secure location in the Najran General Prison on 22 August. He was scheduled to be executed on 25 August but, without any explanation, his execution was not carried out. He could be executed at any time. Hajras al-Qurey was sentenced to death on 16 January 2013 by the General

URGENT ACTION Document – Saudi Arabia: Death penalty for juvenile activist: Ali Mohammed Baqir al-Nimr  UA: 143/14 Index: MDE 23/014/2004 Saudi Arabia Date: 4 June 2014  AMNESTY:  A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a Shi’a activist to death for crimes it judged he committed when he was 17 years old. He claims he was tortured and otherwise ill-treated to make him “confess”, but his allegation has not been investigated. He has had no access to his lawyer. Ali Mohammed Baqir al-Nimr was sentenced to death on 27 May by the Specialized Criminal Court in Jeddah, for offences that included participating in demonstrations against the government, attacking the security forces, possessing a machine-gun and armed robbery. The court seems to have based its decision on signed “confessions” which Ali al-Nimr claims were extracted under torture and other ill-treatment, and has refused to look into this allegation.  More…

 

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL  7 May 2014  A thousand lashes and 10 years in prison for online Saudi Arabian activist  Amnesty International is calling on Saudi Arabia’s authorities to quash the outrageous sentencing today of Raif Badawi in connection with an online forum for public debate he set up and accusations that he insulted Islam.    Raif Badawi, co-founder of the “Saudi Arabian Liberals” website, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes and a fine of 1 million Saudi riyals (about US$266,631) by Jeddah’s Criminal Court. 

“The decision to sentence Raif Badawi to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes is outrageous. He is a prisoner of conscience who is guilty of nothing more than daring to create a public forum for discussion and peacefully exercising the right to freedom of expression. The authorities must overturn his conviction and release him immediately and unconditionally,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.  More…

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL April 29, 2014 HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST DETAINED INCOMMUNICADO

Saudi Arabian human rights activist Abdulrahman al-Hamid has been detained incommunicado since his arrest on 17 April. He may be a prisoner of conscience. Dr Abdulrahman al-Hamid received a phone call from the Criminal Investigation Department in Burayda in thecentral province of al-Qassim, on 17 April, asking him to report to them. He went there, together with his son, after‘Asr Prayer (around 4pm) and was immediately arrested. Apparently he was told that a warrant for his arrest hadbeen issued by the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution (BIP), and that he was to be kept in detention.His family have not heard from him since, and the authorities have refused their requests to allow him visits by hisfamily and legal representative.  More…

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL UA: 98/14 Index: MDE 23/009/2014 Saudi Arabia Date: 25 April 2014 URGENT ACTION HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER ARRESTED DURING TRIAL

Saudi Arabian human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair was detained on 15 April following a court hearing of his ongoing trial. He is a prisoner of conscience, at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair was arrested on 15 April after appearing at the fifth court hearing of histrial before the Specialized Criminal Court in the capital, Riyadh. His defence team went to the court on 22 April tomake enquiries as to why he had been detained, and found him there, attending a sixth hearing. The judgeapparently refused to provide an explanation for Waleed Abu al-Khair’s arrest. The next session of his trial hasbeen schedule for 28 May.After his arrest, Waleed Abu al-Khair was taken to al-Ha’ir prison in Riyadh, where he is understood to have been placed in solitary confinement and deprived of sleep due to constant exposure to bright lights. He is at risk of further torture and other ill-treatment. On 17 April he was allowed one brief phone call to his wife, who has not, however, been allowed to visit him, although she is expecting their first child in June.  More…

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL URGENT ACTION: 24 April 2014 PROTESTING HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST IMPRISONED

Saudi Arabian human rights activist Fadhel al-Manasif has been sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by a 15-year travel ban. He is a prisoner of conscience. Fadhel Maki al-Manasif was sentenced by the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh on 17 April to 15 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by a travel ban of 15 years, and a fine of 100,000 Saudi riyals (about US$26,600). The court convicted him of charges including “breaking allegiance to the ruler”, “stirring sedition and sectarian division between citizens by inciting protests and marches”, “communicating with foreign media to harm the Kingdom’s government, its people and national unity” and “founding a banned association”. He is appealing the decision. The charges are related to his participation in peaceful protests in the country’s Eastern Province which called for political reform and an end to discrimination against Saudi Arabia’s Shi’a Muslim community, his reporting and documentation of such discrimination and him being a founding member of a banned human rights association. Fadhel al-Manasif has been detained since 2 October 2011 and was brought to trial before the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh on 28 February 2012.  He remains at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.  More…

 

AMNESTY  16 April 2014 Saudi Arabia jails lawyer and human rights activist in ongoing crackdown on dissent
Saudi Arabia must immediately release prominent human rights activist and lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair, who was arrested following his fifth hearing at the Specialized Criminal Court on Tuesday and taken to al-Ha’ir prison without an explanation, said Amnesty International. “Authorities in Saudi Arabia are clearly punishing Waleed Abu al-Khair for his work protecting and defending human rights. He is a prisoner of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally,” said Said Boumedouha Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International. “Waleed Abu al-Khair’s detention is a worrying example of how Saudi Arabian authorities are abusing the justice system to silence peaceful dissent. Nobody should be jailed for peacefully exercising the right to freedom of expression.”   More…

FIRSTPOST – WORLD
Apr 16, 2014 Concerned for stability, Saudi Arabia tightens curbs on dissent 
DUBAI/RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia, rattled by regional turmoil that has destabilised the Middle East, is intensifying a crackdown on domestic dissent, raising fears that a more open space for public debate that emerged in recent years is under threat.  Ibrahim al-Mugaiteeb, head of the local Human Rights First Society, said security steps were not the answer to dissidents. “We need more than harshness and roughness as we have noticed recently in the sentencing,” he told Reuters.   Instead, he said, the government should regard criticism as constructive and that he hoped the authorities would push reforms at a faster pace. “We need more understanding for where people are coming from,” Mugaiteeb said.    More…

(Additional reporting by Rania El Gamal; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Angus McDowall and Mark Heinrich)
Amnesty March 26, 2014 DOMESTIC WORKER FACING EXECUTION An Indonesian domestic worker is at imminent risk of execution in Saudi Arabia. Shecould be executed as early as 3 April if the victim’s family does not receive the requested diya (“blood money”) compensation by this date.  More…

Amnesty 7 March 2014 SENTENCE OVERTURNED, BUT STILL IN PRISON    Saudi Arabian human rights defender Dr Abdulkareem Yousef al-Khoder, jailed for eight years in June 2013, has had his conviction and prison sentence overturned by the Court of Appeal, but is still behind bars.  More …

AMNESTY  6 March 2014  Free Saudi Arabian human rights activists on hunger strike
Saudi Arabia must immediately and unconditionally release two founders of a local human rights organization who have spent nearly a year behind bars, after being convicted on the basis of their peaceful activism and criticism of the authorities, said Amnesty International.   Mohammad al-Qahtani and Abdullah al-Hamid were sentenced to 10 and 11 years in jail respectively on 9 March 2013. Both are co-founders of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), one of the few organizations in the country recording human rights violations and assisting families of detainees held without charge.  More…

URGENT ACTION HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST REMAINS IN JAIL AMNESTY: UA: 15/14 Index: MDE 23/002/2014 Saudi Arabia Date: 23 January 2014  A prominent Saudi Arabian human rights activist, Fowzan al-Harbi, who is on trial for his human rights activism has been arbitrarily detained since 26 December 2013. Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience.  Fowzan al-Harbi a 36-year-old father of two, was arrested on 26 December 2013 at the end of his second hearing before the Criminal Court in the capital, Riyadh. The judge ordered his arrest without providing any reason, despite repeated requests from al-Harbi’s lawyer. Fowzan al-Harbi is a founding member of the human rights NGO Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), most of whose founders were imprisoned in 2013 on similar charges.  More

AMNESTY 20 January 2014   UA: 3/13 Index: MDE 23/001/2014 Saudi Arabia NEW TRIAL, THOUGH SENTENCE OVERTURNED  Website founder Raif Badawi, jailed in 2013, has had his conviction and sentence overturned on appeal, but could now be tried again. Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience.  More…

 





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