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  • Qatar
  • Discrimination

Gulf / Qatar dispute: Human dignity trampled and families facing uncertainty as sinister deadline passes

Thousands of people in the Gulf face the prospect of their lives being further disrupted and their families torn apart as new arbitrary measures announced by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the context of their dispute with Qatar are due to come into force from today, said Amnesty International. The three Gulf states had given their citizens the deadline of 19 June to leave Qatar and return to their respective countries or face fines and other unspecified consequences.

Date:
19 June 2017
  • Campaigns
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Detention

Our father is brave, we wait for him with hope in our hearts

Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi was detained on 17 June 2012 and sentenced in 2014 to 10 years in prison for creating an online forum for public debate and accusations that he insulted Islam. He was also sentenced to a cruel and inhuman punishment of 1,000 lashes, and on 9 January 2015 he received the first 50 of these in a public square in Jeddah. Raif’s children have not seen their father for many years.

Date:
17 June 2017
  • News
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Saudi Arabia: Release blogger Raif Badawi, still behind bars after five years

Marking the fifth anniversary of the arrest of Saudi Arabian blogger and prisoner of conscience Raif Badawi, Samah Hadid, Middle-East Director of Campaigns for Amnesty International said: “Raif Badawi has already served half of his prison term, but he shouldn’t be locked up in the first place. Saudi Arabian authorities must ensure his immediate and unconditional release, as well as the release of all prisoners of conscience detained solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

Date:
16 June 2017
  • Campaigns
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Saudi Arabia: Further information: Sentence confirmed on Saudi Arabian writer: Nazeer al-Majed

Saudi Arabian writer Nazeer al-Majed was informed on 15 May that the Court of Appeal of the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) in Riyadh has upheld his seven-year prison sentence. Nazeer al-Majed has been detained since 18 January solely for having peacefully exercised his right to freedom of expression. He is a prisoner of conscience.

Date:
16 June 2017
Ref:
MDE 23/6510/2017
  • News
  • Bahrain
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Families ripped apart, freedom of expression under attack amid political dispute in Gulf

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are toying with the lives of thousands of Gulf residents as part of their dispute with Qatar, splitting up families and destroying peoples’ livelihoods and education, Amnesty International said today. The organization’s researchers have interviewed dozens of people whose human rights have been affected by a series of sweeping measures imposed in an arbitrary manner by the three Gulf countries in their dispute with Qatar.

Date:
9 June 2017
  • Campaigns
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Prisoners of Conscience

Saudi Arabia: Further information: Two Sudanese activists at risk of deportation: Elgassim Mohamed Seed Ahmed and Elwaleed Imam Hassan Taha

Sudanese activists Elgassim Mohamed Seed Ahmed and Elwaleed Imam Hassan Taha are at imminent risk of deportation from Saudi Arabia to Sudan, where they would be at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. The two activists have been detained in Saudi Arabia without charge or trial since 21 December 2016. They are prisoners of conscience.

Date:
8 June 2017
Ref:
MDE 23/6439/2017
  • News
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Detention

Saudi Arabia detains rights activist who defied women’s driving ban

Responding to news about the re-arrest of Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul at King Fahad International Airport in Dammamin Saudi Arabia on 4 June, Samah Hadid Director of Campaigns for Amnesty International in the Middle–East said: “The Saudi Arabian authorities’ continuous harassment of Loujain al-Hathloul is absurd and unjustifiable. It appears she is being targeted once again because of her peaceful work as a human rights defender speaking out for women's rights, which are consistently trammeled in the kingdom.

Date:
5 June 2017
  • News
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Detention

Qatar: Activist at risk of torture after deportation to Saudi Arabia

The government of Saudi Arabia must immediately release the imprisoned Saudi Arabian human rights activist Mohammad al-Otaibi, who is at serious risk of torture, said Amnesty International. On the night of 24 May, the persecuted activist was en route to Norway, where he had been granted refugee status, when Qatari authorities arrested him in Doha airport and deported him back to Saudi Arabia. “Forcibly returning Mohammad al-Otaibi to Saudi Arabia under the guise of judicial cooperation, where he risks torture and an unfair trial, is a shameful and inhuman act on the part of the Qatari authorities and a blatant violation of international law.

Date:
30 May 2017
  • News
  • Saudi Arabia

Trump’s first international tour raises red flags for human rights in Middle East

As President Donald Trump embarks on his first foreign tour this weekend, the irony of his decision to make his first stop in Saudi Arabia, home to some of Islam’s holiest sites, will not be lost on many. Within weeks of coming to power, President Trump provoked global outrage with his blatantly discriminatory ban on people from six majority-Muslim countries entering the USA. Yet this weekend he is joining a summit in Riyadh attended by dozens of leaders from across the Muslim world, where it is reported he will give a speech laying out his vision on how to tackle Islamic extremism.

Date:
19 May 2017
  • Campaigns
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Detention

"Yet Another Sacrifice" - a letter from Maha al-Qahtani to her husband in jail

Mohammad al Qahtani is a human rights defender and founding member of the Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), one of Saudi Arabia’s few independent human rights organizations. He is serving a 10-year prison sentence for peacefully calling for reforms. His mother passed away on 23 April 2017 and he was offered three days’ compassionate leave from prison to attend her funeral. Mohammad, however, chose to refuse the offer in protest of his ongoing unfair detention.

Date:
8 May 2017
  • News
  • Qatar
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Qatar must not deport human rights activist at risk of torture and persecution in Saudi Arabia

The Qatari authorities must not buckle to demands from Saudi Arabia if they request the deportation of human rights activist Mohammad al-Otaibi back to the country, where he is at risk of being imprisoned and tortured or otherwise ill-treated, said Amnesty International, ahead of a hearing by a Saudi Arabian court scheduled for Tuesday 25 April. Mohammad al-Otaibi, a peaceful activist, and founder of a local human rights organization, is being tried in his absence before Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court on a list of ludicrous charges.

Date:
20 April 2017
  • Blog
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Juveniles and Human Rights

“Although the distance is painful our hope must persist”

21 March marks Mother’s Day in much of the Arab world, including Saudi Arabia. For the mothers of Abdullah al-Zaher, Dawood al-Marhoon, Ali al-Nimr and Abdulkareem al-Hawaj, four young Saudi Arabian men who were arrested as minors and sentenced to death after grossly unfair trials based on “confessions” they say were extracted under torture, Mother’s Day is a day of heartache. But it is also yet another day of hope and prayer for their sons’ release.

Date:
21 March 2017