On October 22, 2017, Samir Al Daami, an Iraqi-Norwegian political commentator, was arrested after publishing a post on Facebook the day before criticising Iraq’s prime minister. Al Daami is currently detained incommunicado at Al Muthanna Air Base, where he is being denied contact with his family and lawyer.

On November 9, 2017, following its review of the current human rights situation in Jordan, the UN Human Rights Committee (HR Committee) published its concluding observations, raising concerns over the human rights violations committed under the pretext of counter-terrorism, the issue of torture and the treatment of refugees, among other issues.

On October 5, 2017, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) issued an opinion calling for the immediate release of Jaber Al Amri, a Saudi citizen detained since 2014 after publicly criticising the practice of arbitrary detention in the country and advocating for the release of his brother, still detained long after the completion of his sentence.

On November 9, 2017, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) published an Opinion calling for the immediate release of Taysir Salman, a 44-year-old Jordanian journalist who has been detained in the UAE since 2015 – during which time he was disappeared for 80 days – as a result of a Facebook post.

On November 7, 2017, Alkarama and Al Wissam Humanitarian Assembly submitted five more cases of enforced disappearances in Iraq to the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED). The five disappearances, which targeted two families, all took place in Latifiya, a small town south of Baghdad, on June 6, 2015.

Two families targeted in wave of arrests

Malik Al Janabi and his brother, Yasser, were both arrested by members of the 17th Division of the Iraqi Army on the night of June 6, 2015.

On September 10, 2017, shortly after leading the evening prayer, Imam Abdulrazaq Moftah Ali Mshireb was abducted in front of his house in Tripoli. A group of uniformed men belonging to the RADA Security Forces arrested him in front of his son, without showing a warrant or explaining the reasons behind the arrest.

Mshireb and his son were beaten by the RADA forces, who confiscated the victim’s mobile phone before threatening him with a weapon in order to force him to do as they asked and follow them to an unknown location.

Despite the official denial of human rights violations by Egyptian authorities, abuses committed by the security forces continue unabated in the country. Alkarama has documented three new cases of enforced disappearances that occurred in the Beheira Governorate between April and October 2017 following abductions by State Security Forces and the police.

Between October and November 2017, Alkarama and Al Wissam Humanitarian Assembly submitted seven more cases of enforced disappearances in Iraq – all of which took place in Baghdad and its surrounding areas in 2014 – to the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED).

On October 25, 2017, Alkarama expressed concern over the ongoing clampdown on peaceful dissent in Saudi Arabia while bringing several cases of arbitrary arrests to the attention of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression (SR FREEDEX), David Kaye.

On October 23, 2017, Omani journalist Yousuf Al Balouchi – known under the pen name of Yousuf Al Haj – was released from the Central Prison in Muscat after being detained for one year as a result of an article denouncing corruption at the Supreme Court level. Just weeks before his release, Al Zaman newspaper, where Al Haj was working at the time of his arrest, was permanently shut down by the authorities following a long legal dispute.