Right of Reply
In this article, Alkarama responds to the recent false accusations of supporting terrorism on behalf of Qatar, allegations peddled by Lebanese daily, As-Safir and echoed in other "news" sites in the region.
On Tuesday 2 September, the Lebanese newspaper, As-Safir published an article entitled The Founder of the Cham Al Islam movement, a prominent activist within Alkarama, which openly accuses Alkarama of "supporting terrorism" and "spreading anarchy". In the following couple of days, these allegations were echoed in the Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese information channel, Al Manar, in Syrian governmental news sites, RTV.gov and Al Tawra, as well as in Saudi-run news site on Syria, Al Akhbar Al Youm. On 3 September, it is the turn of Commentary, a magazine founded by the American Jewish Committee in 1945, to accuse Alkarama of being run by an "Al Qaeda financier", in reference to Alkarama's Founder, Mr Abdulrahman Al Naimi.
Being the victim of defamation campaigns clearly orchestrated by stakeholders with obvious interests in the Arab region, Alkarama unambiguously rejects these accusations which are totally false and unfounded.
Headquartered in Geneva, Alkarama is a Foundation under Swiss law which defends, in the Arab world, all victims of torture, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance or extrajudicial execution. Pursuant to its charter, Alkarama does not accept or receive any funding from an Arab government, including Qatar, or any non-Arab government involved in human rights violations in the region.
The charges brought by the American treasury against one of Alkarama's founding members, Mr Abdulrahman Al Naimi were made against his own person, and not the Foundation. Besides, it is important to note that the American Treasury Department has not submitted any evidence or proof of its allegations against Mr Al Naimi, who denies all charges as a whole, and is willing, as he officially notified the American authorities, to appear in person before a court to establish the falsity of the charges pressed against him – charges which do not seem devoid of a political will to prejudice him because of his commitment to report serious human rights violations committed by the United States in the Arab world, particularly in the context of their repeated military interventions.
Mr Nasser Naif Deeb Al Hajiri, quoted in the articles mentioned above, is not a member of Alkarama. As we explained to the author of the As-Safir article, Mr Abdullah Suleiman Ali, sometimes, individuals whom the Foundation defends or has defended, claim being members of our organisation; it is difficult for us to monitor and control what each of these people claim on their Twitter accounts or other media, which, in any event, does not commit the organisation.
The Foundation's Statutes are also clear about this: Alkarama does not have any members other than those set out in its Statutes, namely the members of Alkarama's Council of Foundation (Board of Trustees), the members of its advisory committee, as well as its staff officially recognised and hired by the organisation. You can find the list of members of Alkarama by clicking on the following link: Our People.
Alkarama wants to reiterate that the defence of a person whose rights have been violated – such as Mr Al Hajiri, a Kuwaiti citizen arbitrarily detained in Saudi Arabia, abused in detention for more than two and a half years, before being released without trial – does not mean that our organisation supports the activities or political directions ascribed to that person by As-Safir or any other misleading media. For an overview of the Alkarama Foundation's action on Al Hajiri's case, please click on the following links: Articles on 2 April 2009, 10 December 2009, 21 December 2009, 7 June 2010 and 23 July 2010. Furthermore, it is important to note that Alkarama has not had any contact with him since his release in July 2010.
As-Safir also mentioned Alkarama's "very special point of view regarding what is happening in Syria, which allows the organisation to defend those involved, without attention to the crimes that they are committing", and citing the case of Mr Hassan Ahmed Hassan Al Diqqi, an Emirati citizen who was campaigning, at the time, to demand social reforms in his country. Alkarama defended him while he was arbitrarily detained in the United Arab Emirates in 2008-2009 – see the following articles: 31 July 2008, 9 March 2009, 19 May 2009 and 29 May 2009. – and has not had contact with him since his release in May 2009, that is to say well before the start of the conflict in Syria. Furthermore, it should be noted that the United Nations itself considered Al Diqqi's detention as arbitrary, and urged the United Arab Emirates' government to release him.
Regarding the case of the Yemeni journalist, Mr Heidar Abduleh Shaye, Alkarama awarded him its annual prize for human rights defenders because he was the first to investigate the United States' drone attacks in Yemen, and to denounce these summary executions against civilians. His work on the subject earned him recognition from his peers and human rights activists. Shaye is "a man who was put in prison because he had the audacity to expose a US cruise missile attack that killed three dozen women and children," said investigative journalist, Jeremy Scahill in an interview broadcasted on Democracy Now. Harassed, slandered and detained in a totally arbitrary manner, Shaye was a victim of reprisals for his journalistic work that led him to collaborate with leading media like the Washington Post, the New York Times and ABC News.
As for Dr. Mourad Dhina, Executive Director of Alkarama since 2007, he was arrested and detained in France in January 2012 following a request to provisionally arrest him for the purpose of extradition issued by the Algerian authorities; he was released six months later by the Paris Court of Appeal who described the accusations as "grotesque", in the words of the Public Prosecutor himself. For more information on the arrest and detention of Dr. Mourad Dhina, please click on the following link: History.
Finally, our Foundation would like to raise questions about As-Safir's motives, which echo the accusations made by Israel's Representative to the United Nations on 24 August 2014. It is becoming increasingly clear that Alkarama bothers States that violate human rights in the Arab region, some of which no longer hesitate today to exploit certain media or to advance falsehoods to discredit Alkarama's work internationally.
Alkarama wishes to remind that its action aims at improving the human rights situation in the Arab region. Throughout its existence, Alkarama has shown professionalism in his work and is now an organisation now recognised by its peers and United Nations experts. Alkarama reiterates that it will remain always at the service of the most vulnerable people and of all victims of human rights violations without distinction. Our Foundation will continue to act with determination to fulfil its mission, whilst preserving its independence from all parties and in spite of all attacks and pressure from any quarter.