The International Solidarity network, Women Living Under Muslim Laws, joins civil society groups and organisations such as Amnesty International, The Feminist school, The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and The Observatory in condemning the recent wave of arrests of over 18 women's rights activists and the harsh sentences passed on three journalists in December 2009 and January 2010.
The Hail Emirate has received official orders to implement the recent sentence handed down against the defendants in the case of Khamisa Sawadi, issued by members of the Committee to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice in the City of Shamli (170 kilometers south of Hail), which was known in the media as 'The case of the elderly woman of Shamli'. Saudi sources have confirmed to Emirati newspaper, Gulf News, that the woman is still in her house and the sentence has not been carried out yet.
This documentary is a WLUML production, supported by City University of Hong Kong. The Stop Stoning Forever (SSF) campaign broke the news of scheduled stoning of Jafar Kiani and Mokarrameh Ebrahimi on 19 June 2007, and the public reaction led to the order of stoning being stayed. Jafar Kiani was stoned to death on 5 July, 2007.
لعل الصياغة الإنشائية في هذا المشروع نجت أكثر قليلاً من سابقتيها من الاستدرار العاطفي. لكنها أبدت تخوفاً من الخوض في قانون الأحوال الشخصية غير مبرر، إذ تقول : إن "تعديل بعض أحكام قانون الأحوال الشخصية لا يعود كما يحلو للبعض أن يفسره لرغبة المنظمات النسائية بالخروج عن أحكام الشريعة، وإنما البحث عن حلول ضمن مظلة الشريعة ذاتها"!.
Although women in Bahrain have had access to education and have participated in elections for eighty years now, even holding positions in government, Ghada Jamsheer, President of the Women's Petition Committee in Bahrain, denounces the flagrant bias stemming from the assumption that this equates to women's full emancipation.
The Islamic Sharia, in so far as it is interpreted and exploited as the principal source of legislation in Bahrain, has a negative impact on women's rights and dignity in the private sphere. With regards to the public sphere, women are entitled to participate in public affairs and enjoy political rights including the rights to vote and to stand for elections.
On 25 August the court of Al-Shamli, north of Hail, found Mrs Khamisa Sawadi guilty of the charge of "khilwa" (mingling with two young men to whom she was not immediately related), and the higher court in Riyadh ratified their verdict. One of the two young men who was tried alongside Sawadi may face additional charges for filing a law suit against the religious police. This is in spite of the fact that in May the Court of Cassation refused to ratify the verdict and returned the case to Al-Shamli court with several observations on the previous verdict, including the rejection of her breastfeeding claim and the fact that she is old.