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- Authorities arrested 23 individuals; 2 were later released.
- Courts upheld, altered, or sentenced 14 individuals to 62 years in prison, collectively, and postponed the trials of 176 individuals.
- The first criminal court acquitted an officer and four policemen accused of torturing detainees to force them into confessing.
- The high administrative court postponed the trial of 10 individuals who had their citizenship revoked in 2012, including lawyer Taimoor Karimi.
- The court of appeal decided to postpone the trial of political activist and Al Wahdawi Secretary General Fadhel Abbas to 10 January 2016.
- The appeal of al-Wefaq Secretary-General Sheikh Ali Salman was postponed to 14 January 2016, with the Public Prosecution attempting to retry charges he was acquitted of in June.
Misplaced Concern: the Sectarian Scapegoat in Bahrain
ADHRB’s Kate Kizer writes that to truly counter violent extremism in Bahrain and maintain the country’s stability, the US must urge the government to fully implement human rights reform and political reconciliation. By embracing the Bahraini government’s sectarian rhetoric and even reconstituting bilateral weapons sales, the US is acting upon the disconcerting notion that the same tired policies – uncritical support for repressive states that serve security interests – will somehow yield different results. Read More
Bahrain: Between the Obligations and Implementation, 4 Years Since UPR Recommendations
On 10 December 2015, the Justice Human Rights Organization hosted a web conference on the evolution of human rights in Bahrain since the UPR recommendations of 2012 and the projections for the upcoming UPR. ADHRB’s Michael Payne offered his expertise on Bahrain’s engagement with the UPR. Follow the link to see highlights from the event. Read More
ICPC Statement for International Human Rights Day
To commemorate International Human Rights Day, the Independent Chinese PEN Center awarded the Liu Xiaobo Courage to Write award to Dr. Abduljalil al-Singace for his long-term tenacity, courage in writing, and efforts to fight for freedom of expression. Pu Zhiqiang of China also received the award. Read More
Concerns Regarding Sayed Sadeq Since His Abduction in Saudi Arabia on 26 November
Click here for a PDF of this article in English
Voices from the Ground: Saudi Women Speak on Elections
News and Opinion
Saudi Arabia: Landmark Elections for Women
Human Rights Watch provided an assessment of the 12 December 2015 elections in Saudi Arabia, which were the first to allow women to stand as candidates. While women’s participation in elections for municipal councils is a positive step, women face a number of barriers to participating. Registering to vote and confirming identity often prove difficult, and the government has barred some activists from participating. Read More
US State Department Remarks Welcoming Women’s Participation in the Saudi Municipal Election
On 12 December 2015, Saudi Arabia conducted its first municipal election in which both men and women registered as candidates and voted. We congratulate the many men and women across the country who won seats and applaud the nearly 1000 women who ran and participated as candidates. The participation of women represents an important step forward in Saudi Arabia toward a more inclusive electoral process that will ensure all citizens are represented in a government accountable to all Saudi citizens. Read More
Prisoner Profile: Dr. Ahmed al-Zaabi
On 26 March 2012, Emirati security forces arrested Dr. Ahmed Yousef al-Zaabi, a former judge and law professor in the UAE. While in detention, the authorities tortured Dr. al-Zaabi and subjected him to extremely poor living conditions. On 2 July 2013, the Emirati Supreme Court sentenced him to ten years in prison as part of the mass trial of “the 94.” During his detention and during the trial, officials denied him access to a lawyer. As in the cases of many members of the 94, the Government of the UAE violated Dr. al-Zaabi’s right to a fair trial, his right to free expression, and his right to freedom from arbitrary arrest and torture. Read more…
News and Opinion
Flexing New Powers, Congress to Review Shipments to Saudi Arabia
The United States hopes Qatar will cooperate with the World Cup bidding investigation, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on 9 December, insisting that the Gulf nation being a key ally in the fight against Islamic State militants was irrelevant in any considerations about pursuing a corruption case. The US is working closely on the FIFA investigation with Swiss authorities, whose case started by probing the dual votes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups five years ago. Read More