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MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
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Saudi Arabia: Cleric hospitalized after five months in solitary confinement must be released
Saudi Arabian authorities must release a prominent reformist cleric who has been held in solitary confinement for five months without charge or trial, Amnesty International said today amid growing fears for his health. Sheikh Salman al-Awda’s family learnt yesterday that he has been hospitalized in the city of Jeddah. His family have not been given further details of his condition. Sheikh Salman al-Awda was arrested on 7 September 2017 and has been prevented from communicating with the outside world since October.
Date: 17 January 2018
CAMPAIGNS
SAUDI ARABIA
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS AND ACTIVISTS
We will continue to campaign until all prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia are released
Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi was detained in June 2012 and sentenced in 2014 for setting up a website focused on social and political debate. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. When Saudi Arabian authorities first flogged him on 9 January 2015, our supporters around the world rose up as one, driving global condemnation of the authorities and demanding the release of Raif Badawi and all other prisoners of conscience.
Date: 9 January 2018
NEWS
SAUDI ARABIA
CENSORSHIP AND FREE SPEECH
Saudi Arabia and The Emperor’s New Clothes
This article was first published on Newsweek Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud is on a mission. The heir to the Saudi throne has big plans for his future kingdom: he has pledged to unravel over half a century of ultra-conservatism, offering a bold new vision where the religious police have less power and women have more freedom. He can’t be accused of aiming low. There have been early signs of his burgeoning influence.
Date: 26 December 2017
RESEARCH
QATAR
ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS
Gulf dispute: Six months on, individuals still bear brunt of political crisis
Six months on since the onset of the political crisis in the Gulf region, ordinary people of multiple nationalities continue to pay the price, Amnesty International said today. The organization is calling on the governments of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to immediately lift arbitrary restrictions on population movement and to ensure there are transparent and operational mechanisms to enable Qatari nationals and foreign residents in Qatar to access the Holy Sites in Saudi Arabia.
Date: 14 December 2017
Ref:
MDE 22/7604/2017
ARTICLE
SYRIAARMED CONFLICT
Syria: Prioritize human rights during peace talks in Russia
Responding to news that Iran, Turkey and Russia will meet in the Russian city of Sochi on Wednesday, while more than 30 Syrian opposition groups hold separate talks in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, Lynn Maalouf, Middle East Research Director at Amnesty International said: “As the parties to the conflict in Syria meet separately to discuss a roadmap to peace, millions of Syrian men, women and children face horrific suffering due to the violations and crimes perpetrated by all parties to the conflict.
Date: 22 November 2017
NEWS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
ARMED CONFLICT
Yemen: USA, UK and France risk complicity in collective punishment of civilians
The USA, UK and France must immediately cease supplying arms to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen, which is impeding humanitarian assistance, including items indispensable to the survival of civilians, said Amnesty International today. According to the UN and humanitarian agencies food and medicine are being blocked and vital supplies will run out in a matter of weeks. Since the Saudi Arabia-led coalition tightened the blockade after a missile was fired at Riyadh, 29 ships carrying essential supplies have been prevented by the coalition from reaching Hodeidah port.
Date: 17 November 2017
CAMPAIGNS
SAUDI ARABIA
PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE
Saudi Arabia: Further Information: Saudi Arabian writer Zuhair Kutbi released
On 23 June, Saudi Arabian writer Dr Zuhair Kutbi was released after serving two years in prison. He remains banned from travelling and writing on social media. The conditions of his release are unknown.
Date: 7 November 2017
Ref:
MDE 23/7376/2017
NEWS
SAUDI ARABIA
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS AND ACTIVISTS
Five ways for Saudi Arabia to deliver true human rights reform
Earlier this week Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud made a public vow to “modernize” Saudi Arabia signalling key reforms could be on the agenda in the Kingdom. Since the Crown Prince was appointed as official heir to the throne in June 2017 he has launched a slick PR campaign to improve the country’s image on the world stage. Just weeks ago the authorities announced that women in the country will finally be granted the right to drive a car.
Date: 27 October 2017
NEWS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
ARMED CONFLICT
Yemen: UN downplays Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s crimes against children
The international community has caved in to political pressure again, underplaying the suffering of hundreds of Yemeni children, by watering down criticism of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s grave violations of international law in the UN Secretary General’s annual Children and armed conflict report (CAAC), said Amnesty International. “Every time the United Nations makes concessions that allow perpetrators of crimes under international law to evade criticism or justice, it emboldens others to commit violations that cause immense misery to people around the world,” said Sherine Tadros, Head of UN office in New York for Amnesty International.
Date: 6 October 2017
NEWS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
ARMED CONFLICT
Why do war crimes against children bear no repercussions?
In her five young years, Buthaina has witnessed the type of violence and brutality that powerful people and governments often want to keep hidden. Pulled from the rubble of her family home in Yemen’s capital Sana’a, viral images show her sitting up in a hospital bed, clutching a teddy bear. Badly bruised, she struggles to pry open a swollen eye with her fingers, to look out on a world that has dealt her such cruelty.
Date: 6 October 2017
NEWS
SAUDI ARABIA
DEATH PENALTY
Saudi Arabia Death toll reaches 100 as authorities carry out execution spree
The Saudi Arabian authorities executed a man today, bringing the total number of people put to death so far in 2017 to 100, with 60 people executed in the past three months alone, said Amnesty International. “Since July 2017, the Saudi Arabian government has been on an execution spree with an average of five people put to death per week. This sets the country firmly on track to remain one of the most prolific executioners on the planet,” said Lynn Maalouf, Director of Research for Amnesty International in the Middle-East.
Date: 2 October 2017
CAMPAIGNS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE
Saudi Arabia: Further information: Saudi Arabian human rights defender imprisoned: Abdulaziz al-Shubaily
Saudi Arabian human rights defender Abdulaziz al-Shubaily was arrested on 17 September to begin serving an eight-year prison sentence that he was handed in 2016. He is a prisoner of conscience and should be released immediately and unconditionally.
Date: 29 September 2017
Ref:
MDE 23/7161/2017
CAMPAIGNS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
DEATH PENALTY
Saudi Arabia: Further information: Saudi Arabia executes man after unfair trial: Said Mabkhout al-Sai’ari
Saudi Arabia executed Said Mabkhout al-Sai’ari on 13 September. He was sentenced to death in December 2013 for the murder of a man, despite the court concluding that there was not enough evidence to convict him.
Date: 29 September 2017
Ref:
MDE 23/7186/2017
NEWS
SAUDI ARABIA
DISCRIMINATION
Saudi Arabia: Right to drive is a long overdue step forward for women
Responding to the Saudi Arabian government’s announcement that women will be allowed to drive, Philip Luther, Amnesty International's Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said:    “This is a long overdue small step in the right direction and we welcome this move if it means all women in Saudi Arabia will finally be able to drive without any restrictions. “If by June next year women in Saudi Arabia are driving the streets without fear of arrest, then this will be a cause for celebration.
Date: 27 September 2017
NEWS
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
CENSORSHIP AND FREE SPEECH
Saudi Arabia: Arrest of two prominent activists a deadly blow for human rights
Responding to the arrest over the weekend of two prominent Saudi Arabian human rights defenders Abdulaziz al-Shubaily and Issa al-Hamid, both founding members of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), Samah Hadid, Director of campaigns for Amnesty International in the Middle-East said:  “This is a dark time for freedom of expression in Saudi Arabia. These two arrests have confirmed our fears that the new leadership under Mohamed bin Salman is determined to crush the Kingdom’s human rights movement.
Date: 18 September 2017
CAMPAIGNS
SAUDI ARABIA
DEATH PENALTY
Saudi Arabia: Further information: Juvenile offender at risk of imminent execution: Abdulkareem al-Hawaj
The family of Abdulkareem al-Hawaj, a Saudi Arabian Shi’a young man sentenced to death for offences that occurred when he was 16 years old, learned that their son’s sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court on 11 September. He has exhausted all his appeals and is at risk of imminent execution.
Date: 18 September 2017
Ref:
MDE 23/7103/2017
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