Waleed Abu al-Khair and Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr: Saudi Arabia’s campaign against dissidents

On 12 June, Waleed Abu al-Khair ended his five-day hunger strike. He initiated his hunger strike to protest ill-treatment by the administration of the Thahban prison in Jeddah. Prison officials refused to provide him with the medical care he needs for diabetes and intestinal complications, and prevented him from accessing any reading material. He ended[…]

Saudi Arabia and the silencing of a peaceful activist

The Government of Saudi Arabia has largely excluded the Eastern Province from the high economic development of other areas in the kingdom, despite the area holding the majority of the country’s oil wealth. The Eastern Province is also primarily home to the kingdom’s minority Shia population who continue to face systemic discrimination. The government routinely[…]

Sheikh Nimr and the Eastern Provinces’ struggle for citizenship equality

“From the day I was born and to this day, I’ve never felt safe or secure in this country,” declared Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in a 2011 speech. A prominent political activist from the Eastern Province, Sheikh Nimr spoke on behalf of Saudi Arabia’s disenfranchised population. The Eastern Province is primarily home to the Kingdom’s minority[…]

Sheikh Nimr and freedom of expression: speaking truth to power

Last week, the international community commemorated World Press Freedom Day on 3 May by celebrating the fundamental principles of press freedom. This day is meant to affirm the need for independent media and to raise awareness for journalists targeted simply for doing their job: exercising the right to free expression. While he was not a[…]

Know Your Rights: Bahrain and Self-Determination

Self-determination? Self-determination is the ability of peoples to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social, and cultural development.[1] In this way, the principle of self-determination affirms peoples’ dignity and worth as human beings. Because of this, the United Nations (UN) has recognized this principle as a universal fundamental human right.[2] The[…]