Articles

 

“A poem stands accused,

my poem morphs into a crime.

In the land of freedom,

the artist’s fate is prison.”

 

Extract from “A Poet Behind Bars” by Dareen Tatour, translated by Tariq al Haydar

 

On October 31, 2017, the Saudi Council of Ministers adopted a new “law on combating crimes of terrorism and its financing”*, replacing the repressive Anti-Terrorism Law of 2014.

In November 2017, Alkarama and Al Wissam Humanitarian Assembly submitted 11 cases of missing people in Iraq to the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED). These 11 individuals were abducted by either the Iraqi army or the intelligence services in government-controlled areas, the majority over the course of 2014.

On November 20, 2017, Mohamed Khaled Mustafa Alqamhawy, a 29-year-old mechanical engineer, was at work when members of the Police and State Security Forces, some wearing uniforms while others wearing plainclothes and carrying weapons, entered the factory and searched the place. They arrested Alqamhawy without any warrant and without explaining the reasons and took him to an unknown location. Alqamhawy remains missing since.

Between November 14 and 23, 2017, Agnes Callamard, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions conducted an official country visit to Iraq, including the Kurdish autonomous region.

During her visit, Callamard examined responses to the multiple violations of the right to life that have been perpetrated in Iraq since 2014, as well as the steps taken to hold the Islamic State (IS) and the Iraqi security forces accountable for these violations.

Ahead of the 2018 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Djibouti by the Human Rights Council (HRC), Alkarama submitted a report in October 2017 highlighting our main concerns with regards to the current human rights situation in the country.

On November 15, 2017, Algerian human rights defender Rafik Belamrania was sentenced to five years imprisonment by the Jijel Criminal Court for “supporting terrorism”. He was sentenced to a further three years' deprivation of his civil and political rights, which entails that, among other things, he cannot be a member of any association nor take part in human rights activism.

 

November 24, 2017

 

To: His Excellency Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

 

Re: Call for action to condemn the Egyptian authorities’ crackdown on freedom of expression

 

Mr High Commissioner,

We, the undersigned organisations, are writing to express our great concern about the current human rights situation in Egypt.

On November 4, 2017, Mohamed Mohamed Mohamed Emam, a 60-year-old builder, was at the departure gate of the Cairo airport about to board his flight to Kenya when he was asked by members of the airport security to follow them to the security office. Emam was escorted by security officers while passengers waiting to board the same flight witnessed the scene.

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.