Saudi Arabia

 (Beirut) – A Saudi court convicted two Saudi women’s rights activists on June 15, 2013, for trying to help a woman flee the country. Wajeha al-Huwaider and Fawzia al-Oyouni were each sentenced to 10 months in prison and two-year travel bans.

Al-Huwaider, a member of the Human Rights Watch Middle East advisory committee, told Human Rights Watch that she believes authorities pursued this case to punish her for unrelated women’s rights activism over the last 10 years. Al-Huwaider and al-Oyouni said they intend to appeal their convictions.

Restricting Speech Restricts Arab Freedom

The sight of hundreds of thousands of Arabs marching on the streets of a number of Arab countries, demanding their dignity and rights, will remain among the iconic images of the twenty-first century. The willingness of so many citizens to take such tremendous risks to their own lives, with thousands dying for their freedom, stunned a world long accustomed to the image of the resigned, subordinate, cynical Arab masses.

New Saudi rights group facing harassment

 Four Saudi activists are under investigation after forming a human rights group on April 3, 2013, and could face prosecution for “establishing an illegal organization,” Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi authorities should immediately cease harassing the four founding members of the group, the Union for Human Rights (UHR), and give it an operating license, Human Rights Watch said.

This was the message brought forth by around 30 protesters at the consulate general of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia today as the Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants and International Migrants’ Alliance Hong Kong and Macau chapter led a picket action condemning the execution of Rizana Nafeek.

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