Articles for Saudi Arabia

Murtaja Qureiris free at last

Murtaja Qureiris free at last

In the context of the Arab Spring of 2011, demonstrations emerged in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia calling for the respect of human rights, political participation, the release of political prisoners, and an end to anti-Shi’a discrimination, while also expressing solidarity with demonstrators in the neighbouring country of Bahrain. Aged 10, Murtaja Qureiris, a resident of the Eastern Province, attended some of the rallies held in Qatif with members of his family. During the period of repression that followed, his brother was killed by security forces.

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Two Uyghur men disappeared while at imminent risk of being forcibly returned from Saudi Arabia to China

Two Uyghur men disappeared while at imminent risk of being forcibly returned from Saudi Arabia to China

On February 3, 2020, Abduweli arrived in Saudi Arabia on a year-long tourist visa from Turkey, where he was permanently residing since 2017, to perform the Umrah pilgrimage. Similarly, in 2020, Rozi travelled to Saudi Arabia from Turkey, where he was residing since 2016, for religious reasons.

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Saudi medical doctor, Lina Alsharif, arbitrarily detained in Riyadh since May 2021

Saudi medical doctor, Lina Alsharif, arbitrarily detained in Riyadh since May 2021

In late May 2021, officials from the Saudi Presidency of State Security raided Alsharif’s family house in Riyadh, arrested Alsharif and then took her to an unknown location. Prior to her arrest, Alsharif had been active on social media, discussing Saudi politics and advocating for human rights issues in the kingdom.

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University graduate Abdullah Jelan disappeared in Medina

University graduate Abdullah Jelan disappeared in Medina

On May 12, 2021, Abdullah Jelan was at his mother’s house in the Shadhah district of Medina. At around 8pm that day, six cars with around 20 people suddenly arrived at the house. The individuals who conducted the arrest were armed and not wearing uniforms, but are believed to belong to the State Security forces. SSP agents then raided Jelan’s mother’s house and confiscated all electronic devices found in the house, including her phone.

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Saudi human rights defender Mohammed Al Rabiah sentenced to six years in prison

Saudi human rights defender Mohammed Al Rabiah sentenced to six years in prison

Mohammed Al Rabiah is a Saudi human rights defender who was arrested on May 15, 2018 during a campaign of arrests against women human rights defenders and campaigners against the male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia, as well as several men who advocated for women’s rights in the country. Further arrests followed between May and July 2018 and targeted lawyers of activists and human rights defenders. Al Rabiah had previously been targeted by the authorities for supporting Saudi women’s right to drive.

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Saudi human rights defender Mohammed Al Otaibi serving a 17-year prison sentence

Saudi human rights defender Mohammed Al Otaibi serving a 17-year prison sentence

On April 3, 2013, along with a group of other Saudi activists, Al Otaibi participated in the creation of a new human rights association, the Union for Human Rights. Shortly after, the Public Prosecution launched a criminal investigation against its founding members. Al Otaibi, together with other activists, was summoned for “co-founding an illegal association”. In the interrogations that followed, they were denied the right to a legal counsel.

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Saudi human rights defender Israa Al Ghomgham sentenced to eight years in prison

Saudi human rights defender Israa Al Ghomgham sentenced to eight years in prison

Israa Al Ghomgham is a Saudi human rights defender from Al Qatif, a region in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province with a Shi’a majority. In the wake of the Arab Spring in 2011, protests erupted across Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, calling for the end of discrimination against Saudi Arabia’s Shia population and the release of anti-government protestors, many of whom had been detained for years without charges. Al Ghomgham documented the protests in Qatif which took place from 2011-2012. Over the course of these protests, more than 20 people were killed, and hundreds injured.

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Saudi women’s rights defender Nassima Al Sadah conditionally released

Saudi women’s rights defender Nassima Al Sadah conditionally released

Al Sadah is a journalist and human rights activist who has dedicated her life to the defence of civil and political rights in Saudi Arabia, in particular the rights of women and the Shi’a Muslim minority in the kingdom. She had, inter alia, been campaigning for an end to the male guardianship system and the driving ban on women. She had also been publishing her opinions on various websites and on social media networks.

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Employee of Saudi Red Crescent sentenced to 20 years in prison after three years of disappearance

Employee of Saudi Red Crescent sentenced to 20 years in prison after three years of disappearance

At around noon on March 12, 2018, agents of the State Security Presidency dressed in civilian clothes arrested Al Sadhan from his place of work at the Red Crescent Authority in Riyadh. They confiscated his phone before taking him to an unknown location. They did not show an arrest warrant, nor did they give any reason for the arrest.

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