UN Special Procedures Publishes Allegation Letter to Saudi Arabia on Arbitrary Detention of Qatari Exchange Student

On 17 April 2019, the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Special Rapporteur on the right to education published an allegation letter addressed to Saudi Arabia regarding the alleged arrest and continued detention of Qatari Exchange student Adbulaziz Saeed Saad Halwan Abdullah. Abdullah is a Qatari exchange student from the Ministry[…]

Bahraini Activist Mohammed Al-Maskati Awarded Human Rights Heroes Award

On 8 June 2019, Access Now announced Bahraini activist Mohammed Al-Maskati as one of the recipients of the 2018 Human Rights Heroes award. Al-Maskati was chosen because of his efforts to provide digital security training to human rights defenders throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights,[…]

Houthi Attack on Saudi Airport is Just One Part of a Greater Problem

On 12 June 2019, Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched a missile attack on an airport in Abha, Saudi Arabia, which is about 110 km (70 miles) north of the border with Yemen. According to reports, at least 26 civilians were injured. This is yet another incident among the now four-year war between the Iran-backed Houthi rebels[…]

Qatar Co-Hosts DC Party to Celebrate Media Freedom Just Ten Days After Closing Doha Centre for Media Freedom

On 26 April 2019, Qatar co-hosted a party in Washington DC to “celebrate the importance of media freedom and integrity,” despite its own lack of such freedoms. Jassim Bin Mansour al-Thani, a media attaché for the Qatari embassy, commented that “Qatar treats media in Qatar and around the world with respect” and “believes firmly in[…]

The UAE Releases Activist Abdul Rahman Bin Sobeih Al-Suwaidi After Forcing Him to Publicly Deny He Was Mistreated in Prison

On 16 May 2019, United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan pardoned and released activist Abdul Rahman Bin Sobeih Al-Suwaidi after public interviews where Al-Suwaidi was forced to deny the torture and mistreatment he endured in the prisons and to condemn his reform group. While the freedom of Al-Suwaidi is welcome, concerns[…]