The president of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, Fozan Al Harbi, https://twitter.com/fowzanm was summoned today by Riyad’s Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution. Al Harbi was questioned, and will have to endure an official investigation on Saturday May 11th.
Fozan is one of Saudi’s preeminent human rights defenders, helping political prisoners and their families recognize their rights. Activists in Saudi Arabia believe that their government is targeting Fozan as a part of a campaign to systematically delegitimize his civil right’s association, which has become more active in recent months. Saudi authorities...
Advancing Human Rights hosted a fundraiser on April 30th, under the auspices AW Asia, and in partnership with “Friends of Ai Weiwei.” The event supported social activism and honored Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei.
The evening’s program included an auction featuring unique works from established artists inspired by the issues of freedom of speech and freedom of movement. The works were displayed alongside selections form AW Asia’s Chinese contemporary art collection which included Weiwei’s “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads.”
AHR founder Robert L. Bernstein opened the evening:
“You’re at a...
“Last month, an Iranian judge in the northwest Kurdish city of Marivan handed down a rare form of punishment to three men involved in a violent street fight: they were to be paraded around town trussed up in women’s clothes” writes Advancing Human Rights’ Iranian Program Manager Solmaz Sharif. The article, featured in The Daily Beast, explains the viral reaction to this odd punishment.
“Citizen journalists recorded videos of the punishment and the [subsequent] protest and uploaded them onto YouTube, while activists created a Facebook page—“Being a Woman Is Not Shameful”—and invited Iranian men to join them in solidarity. So...
Saudis are constantly in danger of facing retribution for speaking their minds, whether it’s on social media or on a street corner. But that isn’t stopping many of them from taking to Twitter with renewed calls for the release of three political prisoners. New hashtags making the rounds are: #اطلقوا_تركي_الحمد# ,اطلقوا_حمزة_كاشغري# ,اطلقوا _رائف_بدوي translated as “Release Turki Al Hamad”, “Release Hamza Kashgari”, and “Release Raef Al Badawi”.
Each of these men were arrested in 2012 and are among the thousands of political prisoners being held in Saudi Arabia.
- - Saudi writer and...
Cyberdissidents.org co-founder Nir Boms wrote for the Wall Street Journal on the continuing conflict in Syria:
“They come in every day now, the body counts from Syria, consistent and painful: 141, 201, 152, 81 (a lucky day, that was). This past Sunday, 566 bodies were found, 483 of them in Damascus and its suburbs alone, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activist groups. Twenty-three bodies were found in Aleppo, 21 in Idlib, 15 in Homs, 12 in Daraa, seven in Deir Ezzor, five in Hama.
This is the highest number of dead discovered in a single day since the war began two years ago. But it...
Last week, CyberDissidents.org’s Arabic Program Manager, Ahed Al Hendi, presented at the 2013 Milton Wolff Conference in Vienna, Austria. He highlighted the Syrian liberal movements and the failure of major news outlets to cover it objectively.
Al Hendi said that there have been four competing narratives in Syria since 1970. He divided the narratives into two categories: Islamic and secular. According to Al Hendi, pro-Assad Islamic voices included clerics and scholars who supported Assad up until the recent conflict. They believed Assad supported “resistance” in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories and so the regime...
Saudi authorities continue to hint at a willingness to restrict or even ban the social media site so many activists rely on.
Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Alsheikh, said on March 23rd that twitter has become “a gathering place for every clown and corrupter who post tweets that are illegitimate, false and wrong.” His remarks are part of a string of statements that Saudi authorities have made criticizing the social networking site and its users and may point to future action such as restrictions on use or an all-out ban.
Currently, Saudi media outlets are reporting that the Saudi regime is considering requiring...
A Saudi activist launched a campaign on Twitter to release three Saudi political prisoners, Turki Al Hamad, Hamza Al Khashgri, and Raef Badawi. The activists used the hashtags #اطلقوا_تركي_الحمد , #اطلقوا_حمزة_كاشغري , #اطلقوا _رائف_بدوي translated as “Release Turki Al Hamad, Hamza Kashgari and Raef Al Badawi.”
Saudi writer and intellectual, Turki Al Hamad, was arrested on charges of apostasy in December 2012, after posting controversial tweets that provoked religious extremists in his country. One of them read: “Our Prophet had come to rectify the faith of Abraham, and now is the time...
Advancing Human Rights Board Member Irwin Cotler recently published a piece on Huffington Post Canada on Six Lessons From the Rwandan Genocide. Commemorating the 19th anniversary of of the Rwandan Genocide, which claimed nearly one million people, Cotler writes “Indeed, what makes the Rwandan genocide so unspeakable was not only the horror of the genocide itself, but the fact that it was preventable. No one can say that we did not know—we knew, but did not act.” His six lessons include:
…The first and foremost lesson of the Rwandan genocide—not unlike the Holocaust—is that these genocides occurred not simply because of the machinery...
Around the world today, human rights activists and authoritarian regimes are locked in a PR battle for your hearts and minds. The battleground? Twitter. Recently, a new hashtag has emerged in Egypt that roughly translates to “#tweet_like_an_egg.” It’s an attempt to fire back at Muslim Brotherhood tweeters who are trolling the activists. Confused? That seems to be the point. Here’s what’s going on:
Popular protest movements across the Middle East have used twitter to organize and spread ideas, making the social media site a powerful tool in the fight for freedom. This is especially the case in places where public discussion of...
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