Saudi Arabia's appointed Shura Council has approved establishing a public defender program, a step that will strengthen the criminal justice system, Human Rights Watch said today. The program approved by the council on January 11, 2010 will appoint a lawyer at the state's expense to any criminal defendant who cannot afford one.
I was sitting in a majlis with a group of women when our chat on world affairs was interrupted by an urgent knock on the door; a knock that opened more than just a passage into the rest of the house. “We ran out of coffee!” I heard a male voice in distress telling the hostess as she opened the door just a tiny crack to see who it was. It was her husband, who was hosting a similar majlis in another corner of the house, with the husbands of the women here. The hostess went out to help him, leaving the door wide open to a room full of annoyed women. Several of them ran to the door to close it, because “there are men in the house”.
قال مصدر سعودي لصحيفة جلف نيوز إن الإماراتية إن الحكم الصادر بحق امرأة مسنة بجلدها 40 جلدة وسجنها لاربعة اشهر لم ينفذ بعد وماتزال المرأة البالغة من العمر 75 عاماً والتي وجدت بصحبة رجلين دون ان تربطهما علاقة قرابة بهابحسب الحكم الصادر في حقها، ماتزال تقيم في منزلها في مدينة حائل السعودية.والمرأة المسنة سورية الجنسية وتدعى خميسة محمد سوادي كانت بمعية رجلين سعوديين هما فهد (24 عاماً) وهديان وجدوا مذنبيين في مارس 2009 بارتكاب خلوة فيما تقول خمسية ان فهد هو ابنها بالرضاعة،
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.
Naming a woman as the next secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will solve the standoff between Qatar and the other GCC states over the name of the next official for the top post, a Saudi activist and columnist has said. “Since there seems to be a crisis that is likely to prolong over the name of the top official, the possible solution I see is to choose a female secretary-general with a high academic and diplomatic profile. I do not think that selecting a qualified woman will cause opposition since there are many women who have recently held high political positions,” Hatoon Al Fassi, an expert on women’s rights and a columnist with a Saudi newspaper, wrote.
حت عنوان "واحة الإفلات من المحاسبة والعقاب"، يصدر مركز القاهرة لدراسات لحقوق الإنسان اليوم تقريره السنوي الثاني حول حقوق الإنسان في العالم العربي خلال عام 2009. ويأسف مركز القاهرة لدراسات لحقوق الإنسان لأن يعلن للرأي العام، أن حالة حقوق الإنسان في هذه المنطقة، تتجه إلى المزيد من التدهور، حتى بالمقارنة مع الوضع المتدهور عام 2008. يستعرض التقرير أبرز التطورات ذات الصلة في 12 بلد عربي، هي مصر وتونس والجزائر والمغرب والسودان ولبنان وسوريا وفلسطين والعراق والسعودية والبحرين واليمن.
Today the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies released its second annual report on the state of human rights in the Arab world for the year 2009. The report, entitled Bastion of Impunity, Mirage of Reform, concludes that the human rights situation in the Arab region has deteriorated throughout the region over the last year. The report reviews the most significant developments in human rights during 2009 in 12 Arab countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen. It also devotes separate chapters to the Arab League and an analysis of the performance of Arab governments in UN human rights institutions.
On 6 December 2009, blogger and human rights defender, Mr Ra’if Badawi, was stopped at Jeddah airport and prevented from travelling to Beirut. No official explanation was given for the travel ban or its time limit; however, it is believed that it is related to charges brought against Ra’if Badawi in relation to a website he set up, in which he has criticized the religious police for violations of human rights.
In the Middle East and North Africa, where political change occurs slowly, blogging has becomes a serious medium for social and political commentary as well as a target of government suppression, writes Mohamed Abdel Dayem. Before the June presidential election, the Iranian government blocked access to more than a dozen social networking sites and online news sources perceived as favoring opposition candidates. Hours before polls opened, SMS, or short message service for mobile phones, was disrupted and remained offline for weeks. The day after the election, the government shut down mobile phone service for an entire day.
The cassation court in Mecca should overturn the death sentence imposed on Ali Sabat by a lower court in Medina on November 9 for practicing witchcraft, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called on the Saudi government to cease its increasing use of charges of “witchcraft,” crimes that are vaguely defined and arbitrarily used.