A year after imprisoned Saudi activist Abdullah al-Hamid’s passing, NGOs call for accountability and release of all human rights defenders
April 24, 2021 marks one year since prominent Saudi human rights defender Dr Abdullah al-Hamid passed away, while serving an 11-year prison sentence on politically motivated charges. Before his passing, Dr al-Hamid was suffering from heart conditions and was advised to undergo surgery. However, prison authorities delayed his operation for several months, leading to the deterioration of his health. As a consequence, on April 9, 2020, he suffered a stroke in al-Ha’ir prison, entered into a coma, and eventually passed away.
In an attempt to modernise the kingdom and diversify its economy, Saudi Arabia has announced a set of reforms in recent years. However, in early 2021, the authorities continued to severely repress any independent civil society movements and to target those who have campaigned for the introduction of these reforms. ALQST for Human Rights and MENA Rights Group condemn the renewed crackdown on human rights defenders and peaceful critics who have been brought to trial, sentenced to lengthy prison terms or had their convictions upheld or increased on appeal.
Ahead of the trial of Moroccan journalist Omar Radi on April 6, 2021, MENA Rights Group and 15 CSOs urged the Moroccan authorities to grant him provisional release and guarantee fair trial proceedings for all parties.
Joint letter to UN Special Procedures mandate holders calls for the immediate release of Egyptian lawyer Hoda Abdel Moneim
Detained lawyer and human rights defender Hoda Abdel Moneim's health has severely deteriorated in prison. MENA Rights Group and six other organisations have called on the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights to urge the Egyptian authorities to immediately release her, in order to prevent an irreparable damage to her health, and potentially to her life, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A coalition of ten NGOs calls on the Iraqi parliament to amend Iraq's Draft Law on Freedom of Assembly and Peaceful Demonstrations
On Tuesday 16 March 2021, a coalition of ten NGO's appealed, through a joint letter, to the Iraqi Council of representatives, asking them to amend the proposed Draft Law on Freedom of Assembly and Peaceful Demonstrations in order to bring it in line with the Iraqi Constitution and international human rights laws.
NGOs from around the world, including MENA Rights Group, expressed their strong support today for a joint declaration by UN member states condemning the human rights situation in Egypt which was delivered at the UN Human Rights Council. In the declaration governments expressed “deep concern” for widespread human rights violations committed with impunity by the Egyptian authorities.
Sponsorship deal with Saudi Arabia: NGOs ask Real Madrid not to "sportswash" the kingdom's human rights record
On February 23, 2021, ALQST for Human Rights and MENA Rights Group wrote to the Real Madrid Ethical Committee, raising concern over reports that the club was in talks with Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Qiddiya project about a 10-year €150 million partnership deal. They asked Real Madrid to fully take into conideration the dire human rights situation in Saudi Arabia before making any such partnership, as the proposed deal reflects the Saudi authorities’ PR strategy to invest in sporting ventures in a bid to revamp a tarnished image. The letter was also sent to Real Madrid on March 1 through the “Company Response Mechanism” of the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. Real Madrid has yet to respond.
#FreeLoujain: NGOs coalition and president of France-Saudi Arabia parliamentary friendship group call for the definitive release of women's rights activist Loujain Al Hathloul
French Deputy Jean-Baptiste Moreau (LREM), president of the France-Saudi Arabia parliamentary friendship group joins forces with Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), Women’s March Global, International Service for Human Rights, MENA Rights Group, CODEPINK, to demand the definitive release of Loujain al-Hathloul and her right to return to France.
45 organisations call on Lewis Hamilton to take a stand against Saudi Arabia's "sportswashing" attempts
Together with 44 organisations, MENA Rights Group sent a joint letter to Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton urging him to speak out against the Saudi authorities' human rights abuses and boycott the Formula 1 race projected to be held in Saudi Arabia later in 2021. The letter specifically recalled the Saudi-led war on Yemen, the Gulf state's treatment of women’s rights defenders, and the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In the light of Hamilton's previous dedication to human rights related issues, we call on him to take action to uphold the most basic rights also in Saudi Arabia and to reject the state's "sportswashing" attempts.
Coalition of civil society organisations calls on governments to take urgent action on Egypt's human rights abuses
MENA Rights Group joins over 100 civil society organisations in urging governments to take action on Egypt's human rights crisis by establishing and supporting a monitoring and reporting mechanism at the upcoming 46th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.