HRW: Reality of Abuses Contradicts Tolerance Rhetoric

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was responsible for serious human rights violations at home and abroad in 2020, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. The government held peaceful critics in jail, fostered labor abuses against low-paid migrant workers, and contributed to abuses abroad in Libya and Yemen. UAE prisons and detention centers hold detainees in dismal and …

HRW: No Improvement in Rights Record

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Bahraini authorities in 2020 escalated repression against online and social media activity and prosecuted critics for peaceful expression, and courts upheld death sentences against opposition activists after unfair trials, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2021. The Court of Cassation, Bahrain’s court of last resort, upheld the death penalty against at least four …

Amnesty: Loujain al-Hathloul’s sentencing, partially suspended, is still cruel

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Responding to the sentencing of women human rights defender Loujain al-Hathloul to five years and eight months imprisonment following an unfair trial before the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC), Amnesty International’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Heba Morayef, said: “Loujain al-Hathloul is a brave human rights defender whose peaceful activism together with …

U.N. Rights Office Seeks Early Release of Activist Loujain Al Hathloul

The United Nations human rights office called on Monday for the “early release” of Saudi women’s activist Loujain al-Hathloul, hours after she was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison in a trial that has drawn international condemnation. “Conviction and 5 yrs 8 month sentence handed down to prominent women’s rights campaigner #LoujainAl-Hathloul, …

HRW: Imprisoned Activist’s Health at Risk

The Emirati human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor’s health is at grave risk following more than three years in solitary confinement without basic necessities, Human Rights Watch and the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) said today. He is on the advisory boards of both organizations. Between December 2017 and March 2018, authorities took away his mattress and …

UN experts alarmed by Loujain Al-Hathloul trial, call for immediate release

UN human rights experts* expressed alarm at the commencement of proceedings against woman human rights defender Loujain Al-Hathloul in a Saudi Specialised Criminal Court, and called for her immediate release from jail and for the “spurious” charges against her to be dropped. Ms. Al-Hathloul had been instrumental in the movement to allow women to drive, …

HRW: Saudi-US Doctor Sentenced on Vague Charges

A Saudi court sentenced a prominent Saudi-American medical doctor to six years in prison on December 8, 2020 on vague charges mostly tied to his peaceful political views and expression, Human Rights Watch and The Freedom Initiative said today. Saudi authorities have banned Dr. Walid Fitaihi, 56, from travel since November 2017, along with seven members of …

Front Line Defenders: Bahrain is not a credible candidate for the Presidency of the UN Human Rights Council

The government of Bahrain has nominated Ambassador Yusuf Abdulkarim Bucheeri as its candidate for the 2021 Presidency of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). This development has placed a spotlight on an unprecedented battle for the presidency of the body which is usually reached by consensus. Much of the media coverage focuses on the efforts …

Bahrain: The employment of the Covid-19 pandemic for religious persecution

Three human rights organizations, Salam for Democracy and Human Rights (Salam DHR), Bahrain Forum for Human Rights (BFHR), and Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, published a report titled: “Bahrain: The employment of the Covid-19 pandemic for religious persecution” Introduction: Since 2011, the Bahraini government has persisted in its transformation of the occasion of …

AUSTRALIA MUST RAISE HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNS AT G20

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has the opportunity to lead on human rights concerns by raising them with leaders at the G20 Summit under Saudi Arabia’s presidency, which will be held virtually. Amnesty and the Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (GIDHR) have also written to the Saudi ambassador to Australia, Messaad Ibraham al-Sulaim, …