Saudi Arabia: WHRD Samar Badawi and Nassima Al-Sadah arbitrary arrested

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Saudi Arabia: WHRD Samar Badawi and Nassima Al-Sadah arbitrary arrested

Date: 9/1/2018 9:23:21 AM

Saudi Arabia: WHRD Samar Badawi and Nassima Al-Sadah arbitrary arrested
 

Human Rights Defenders

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Saudi Arabia.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention of Ms. Samar Badawi [1] and Ms. Nassima Al-Sadah [2], two prominent women human rights defenders[3].

According to the information received, on July 30, 2018, security forces arrested Ms. Samar Badawi and Ms. Nassima Al-Sadah. No information is available about neither the circumstances nor the reasons of their arrests. The two human rights defenders are currently held in an unknown location and no information has been provided on their whereabouts and conditions of detention.

The Observatory recalls that over the past years, Ms. Samar Badawi has been repeatedly harassed, interrogated and arrested by the authorities for her human rights activities. Prior to her arrest, Ms. Samar Badawi appeared before the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution, on February 15, 2017, regarding previous issues related to her human rights and civil activities, including women’s campaign against male guardians. On January 12, 2016, she was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Authority of Jeddah without any reason, and released on bail the next day. On December 2, 2014, while on her way to participate to the 16th European Union NGOs Forum on Human Rights in Brussels, Belgium, she was informed by a staff from the airport that she was under a travel ban, without any reason given or prior investigation.

The Observatory condems in the strongest terms the arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention of Ms. Samar Badawi and Ms. Nassima Al-Sadah and urges the Saudi authorities to immediately disclose their whereabouts as well as to insure unhindered access to their families and lawyers.

The Observatory further recalls that ahead of the official lift of the driving ban the Saudi authorities launched a crackdown on human rights defenders - and especially women human rights defenders[4]- in the country. As of publication of this Urgent Appeal, Ms. Hatoon Al-Fassi, Ms. Nouf Abdulaziz, Ms. Mayya Al-Zahrani, Ms. Eman al-Nafjan, Ms. Aziza al-Youssef, Ms. Loujain al-Hathloul, Mr. Mohammed al-Rabiah, Mr. Mohamed al-Bejadi, Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Mesha’al and Mr. Ibrahim al-Mudaimeegh remain detained. While pro-governmental media outlets reported that they have been arrested under vague accusations of “suspicious contacts with foreign entities” and “financial support to enemies overseas”, no formal charges have yet been reportedly pressed against them. Moreover, they are reportedly all detained in solitary confinement, without access to their lawyers and they could only speak with their families once or twice since their arrests.

The Observatory urges the Saudi authorities to release the above-mentioned human rights defenders immediately and unconditionally, and to put an end to all acts of harassment, including judicial, against them as well as all human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia as this wave of arrests and arbitrary detentions only seems to aim at sanctioning peaceful and legitimate human rights activities, in particular in defence of women’s human rights.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities in Saudi Arabia, urging them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Samar Badawi, Ms. Nassima Al-Sadah, Ms. Hatoon Al Fassi, Ms. Nouf Abdulaziz, Ms. Mayya Al-Zahrani, Ms. Eman al-Nafjan, Ms. Aziza al-Youssef, Ms. Loujain al-Hathloul, Mr. Mohammed al-Rabiah, Mr. Mohamed al-Bejadi, Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Mesha’al and Mr. Ibrahim al-Mudaimeegh as well as of all detained human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia;

ii. Immediately disclose Ms. Samar Badawi and Ms. Nassima Al-Sadah whereabouts;

iii. Ensure all detained human rights defenders have unhindered access to their family and lawyers;

iv. Immediately and unconditionally release Ms. Samar Badawi, Ms. Nassima Al-Sadah, Ms. Hatoon Al Fassi. Ms. Nouf Abdulaziz, Ms. Mayya Al-Zahrani, Ms. Eman al-Nafjan, Ms. Aziza al-Youssef, Ms. Loujain al-Hathloul, Mr. Mohammed al-Rabiah, Mr. Mohamed al-Bejadi, Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Mesha’al and Mr. Ibrahim al-Mudaimeegh and all detained human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia, as their detention is arbitrary since it only aims at punishing them for their legitimate human rights activities;

v. Put an end to all forms of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Ms. Samar Badawi, Ms. Nassima Al-Sadah, Ms. Hatoon Al Fassi, Ms. Nouf Abdulaziz, Ms. Mayya Al-Zahrani, Ms. Eman al-Nafjan, Ms. Aziza al-Youssef, Ms. Loujain al-Hathloul, Mr. Mohammed al-Rabiah, Mr. Mohamed al-Bejadi, Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Mesha’al and Mr. Ibrahim al-Mudaimeegh and all human rights defenders in the country so they are able to carry out their work without unjustified hindrance and fear of reprisal;

vi. Comply in all circumstances with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular its Articles 1, 6(c) and 12.2;

vii. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and instruments.

Addresses:

• His Majesty, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, Fax: (via Ministry of the Interior) +966 11 403 3125; Email: info@moi.gov.sa; Twitter: @KingSalman
• His Excellency, Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Fax: (via Ministry of the Interior) +966 11 403 3125; Email: info@moi.gov.sa
• H.E. Waleed bin Mohammad Al Samaani, Minister of Justice, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Fax: + 966 11 405 7777; Email: info@moj.gov.sa
• His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz Bin Saud Bin Naif Bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Interior, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Fax: + 966 11 401 1111 / + 966 11 401 1944 / + 966 11 403 1125; Email: info@moi.gov.sa
• H.E. Adel bin Ahmed El Jubeir, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fax: + 966 11 403 0645 ; Email: info@mofa.gov.sa
• H.E. Abdulaziz Alwasil, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland. Fax: +41 22 758 00 00. Email: saudiamission@bluewin.ch
• H.E. Abdulrahman bin Soliman Al-Ahmed, Ambassador, Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Brussels, Belgium. Fax: +32 2 6468538. Email: beemb@mofa.gov.sa

Please also write to the diplomatic missions or embassies of Saudi Arabia in your respective country as well as to the EU diplomatic missions or embassies in Saudi Arabia.

***

Paris-Geneva, August 14, 2018

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

 

[1] Ms. Samar Badawi defends the right of Saudi women to vote, drive and achieve social justice. On March 8, 2012, she received the International Women of Courage Award for her lawsuit against the Government demanding the right for women to vote. She’s the sister of the blogger Raif Badawi [1], sentenced on June 7, 2015 to 1,000 lashes and 10 years of imprisonment for “insulting Islam and religious authorities” after the creation of his website Free Saudi Liberals
[2] Ms. Nassima Al-Sadah is a co-founding member of Al-Adalah Center for Human Rights, a NGO which was denied the permit to work in the country. In recent years, she was involved in women’s driving campaign and summoned various times due to her legitimate and peaceful human rights work [2]. She ran for the 2015 municipal elections -the first open to women- in Qatif, but her candidacy was eventually rejected by the regime.
[3] For more information, see Observatory Report, Saudi Arabia: Condemned to silence: the situation of women human rights defenders, January 2018: https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/condemned-to-silence-the-situation-of-women-human-rights-defenders-in
[4] https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/crackdown-on-saudi-women-human-rights-defenders-sets-off-alarms-over



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