(Geneva, May 24, 2018) – The UN Committee against Torture (CAT) has published its Concluding Observations on Qatar’s third periodic report following the state’s review on May 1 and 2, 2018.

Abdul Rahman Alhaj Ali was released on May 16, 2018, putting an end to three and a half years of arbitrary detention in Morocco. Alhaj Ali has been detained since October 30, 2014 at Salé prison pending extradition to Saudi Arabia.

On August 22, 2016, the UN Committee against Torture called on the Moroccan authorities to cancel the extradition and release Alhaj Ali, citing the systematic use of torture and ill-treatment in Saudi Arabia.

Arrest and detention

As of May 14, 2018, Saudi journalist Alaa Brinji has spent four years behind bars for expressing his opinion, advocating for human rights, and challenging rights violations.

Brinji, who used to write for Al-Bilad, Al-Sharq and Okaz newspapers, is one of Saudi Arabia’s best-known journalists. His arrest was accompanied by several violations of his rights, including initially being held incommunicado, denied contact with the outside world, and denied access to a lawyer throughout his trial.

Geneva (May 15, 2018) – With the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Djibouti taking place last week before the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, concerns remain about the Djiboutian authorities’ willingness to make significant improvements to the human rights situation in the country.

A family of 12 Russian nationals residing in Egypt – including 7 children between the ages of 3 and 9 – remain disappeared to date after being arrested by the Egyptian secret police between March and April 2018.  

On April 23 and 24, 2018, Alkarama and Al Wissam Humanitarian Assembly requested the urgent intervention of the UN human rights mechanisms in the cases of three individuals who disappeared following their arrests by the Iraqi authorities between 2006 and 2015.

Geneva (May 3, 2018) – May 3 marks World Press Freedom Day 2018, this year based on the theme  Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law. While providing a platform to celebrate press freedom and to speak up for journalists who have been subjected to abuses as a result of their work, this year’s theme also provides the opportunity to address flaws in legal systems across the Arab world in order to create a legal environment conducive to freedom of the press.

Geneva (April 27, 2018) – On April 18, 2018, the United Nations Human Rights Committee published its follow-up report after reviewing Iraq’s implementation of four key recommendations issued following the country’s review in October 2015. The report concluded that the recommendations had “not been fully implemented” by the Iraqi authorities.

Geneva (April 25, 2018) – On December 22, 2017 and January 8, 2018, a teacher and a 19-year-old student were arrested by members of Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate (GID), and subsequently detained incommunicado, tortured, and coerced into confessing to “supporting terrorism”.

Clockwise from top left: Raslan Al Khatib, Abdo Al Saghier, Ibrahim Al Jaidani, Ahmad Deib Abdul Aleem, Anas Yassin 


On April 16, 2018, Alkarama and Human Rights Guardians submitted five cases of enforced disappearances in Syria to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID), requesting that the UN experts promptly intervene with the Syrian authorities to ensure their immediate release.