Saudi Arabia: Judicial harassment of Ms Samar Badawi
URGENT APPEAL - THE
003 / 0217 / OBS 018
February 17, 2017
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.
of the situation:
The Observatory has been informed by reliable
sources about the ongoing judicial harassment targeting Ms. Samar Badawi,
a vocal advocate for imprisoned human rights activists and women's rights in
Saudi Arabia, in particular the rights of women to vote, drive and achieve
According to the information received, on February
13, 2017, Ms. Samar Badawi received a phone call from the Bureau of Investigation
and Prosecution in Jeddah, summoning her to appear at 10 am on February 15,
2017 for an interrogation.
Ms. Samar Badawi presented herself on that day and
was interrogated for several hours. Later, on her Twitter account, Ms.
Samar Badawi explained that the interrogation was “related to previous issues
about [her] human rights and civil activities including women’s campaign
against male guardians”.
Observatory recalls that this is not the first time Ms. Samar Badawi is
judicially harassed by the Saudi authorities
(see background information). Thus, the
Observatory expresses its utmost concern over the repeated judicial harassment
of Ms. Samar Badawi by Saudi authorities, which only seems to aim at
sanctioning her peaceful and legitimate human rights activities and urges Saudi
authorities to put an end to it.
the Observatory condemns the ongoing arbitrary detention of Ms. Badawi’s
ex-husband, Mr. Waleed Abu al-Khair,
and brother, Mr. Raif Badawi, which
only aims at punishing them for their legitimate and peaceful human rights
activities, and calls upon the Saudi authorities to immediately release them
and drop all charges against them (see background information).
December 2014, Ms. Samar Badawi was intercepted at King Abdulaziz International
Airport in Jeddah, and prevented to board a plane to attend the EU NGO Forum on
Human Rights in Brussels, Belgium, before being informed of a travel ban issued
by the Ministry of Interior against her.
6, 2016, Ms. Samar Badawi was summoned by the Criminal Investigation Authority
in Jeddah for interrogation concerning
activity on the Twitter account of her detained ex-husband, human rights
lawyer Mr. Waleed Abu Al-Khair.
Ms. Badawi waited for several hours before being asked to come back on January
12, 2016. On that date, officers started interrogating her at 11 am on
accusations that she had been managing her husband's Twitter account and
more particularly leaking a picture on January 8, 2016, of Mr. Fawzan
Al-Harbi, a member of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association
(ACPRA) arbitrarily detained with Mr. Abu Al-Khair at the Al-Malaz prison,
before Mr. Abu Al-Khair's transfer to Dhahban Central Prison in Jeddah in
being interrogated for about four hours, she was placed in a police car and
transferred along with her two years old daughter, to Hayy al-Salam police
station. Upon arrival, she was formally placed under arrest and transferred
alone to Dhahban Central Prison where both her ex-husband and her brother Mr. Raif Badawi
are detained. On January 13, 2016, she was released on bail in the early
morning. Later on the same day she appeared before the public prosecution, who
released her without charges.
Please write to the authorities in Saudi Arabia asking them to:
in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Samar
Badawi as well as all human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia;
an end to all acts of harassment and intimidation, including at judicial level,
against Ms. Samar Badawi and all human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia, and ensure in all
circumstances that they are able to carry out their work without unjustified
hindrance and fear of reprisal;
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;
- More generally,
ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental
freedoms in accordance with international human
rights standards and instruments.
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- H.E. Waleed bin
Mohammad Al Samaani, Minister of Justice, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Fax: +
966 11 401 1741 / + 966 11 402 0311 / +966114055399
- His Royal Highness Prince
Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Minister of Interior, Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia. Fax: +966 11 403 3125; Email: email@example.com
- H.E. Adel bin Ahmed El
Jubeir, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fax: +966114030645; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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: email@example.com
- H.E. Abdulrahman
bin Soliman Al-Ahmed, Ambassador, Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Brussels,
Belgium. Fax: +32 2 6468538. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Saudi Arabia in
your respective countries.
Paris-Geneva, February 17, 2017
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this
appeal in your reply.
The Observatory, an FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the
protection of human rights defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in
their time of need. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by
international civil society.
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
· E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
· Tel and fax FIDH: +33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / 01 43 55 18 80
· Tel and fax OMCT: + 41 22 809 49 39 / 41 22 809 49 29