ALQST

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ALQST
Founded August 2014 (2014-08)[1]
Founder Yahya Assiri[2]
Focus research and advocacy for human rights in Saudi Arabia[1]
Location
Area served
Saudi Arabia[3]
Method researching human rights in Saudi Arabia based on Saudi Arabia based team and publishing documentation and news reports by London team; "lobbying against [human rights violations] using peaceful and legal methods"[3]
Key people
Yahya Assiri[3]
Website alqst.org/eng

ALQST[1][3] or Al Qst[2] is a human rights organisation that documents and promotes human rights in Saudi Arabia, with a team in Saudi Arabia that researches cases and a team in London that publishes reports and news.[1]

Aims and origin

ALQST was founded in August 2014 by Yahya Assiri, a former Royal Saudi Air Force officer,[2][4] with the aim of documenting human rights violations in Saudi Arabia and publishing reports on these.[1] Assiri described the choice of the name as deliberately using a term from the Quran that means "justice", in order to avoid the organisation being perceived as attacking Saudi Arabian culture.[2]

Reports and appeals

Human rights activists

In February 2018, ALQST opposed the conviction and sentencing of Issa al-Nukheifi, who was sentenced to six years' imprisonment, to be followed by a six-year international travel ban and social media ban, for having tweeted his criticism of Saudi authorities for the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen and against official handling of "criminal proceedings and security procedures".[5]

ALQST has documented the detention of women's human rights activists, including the wave of arrests that started with the detention of Noha al-Balawi in January 2018, who was questioned during her detention for her women's rights activities.[6] Al-Balawi was the first in a 2018 wave of arrests of women's rights activists involved in the women to drive movement and the anti male-guardianship campaign.[7] ALQST described the series of arrests as an "unprecedented targeting of women human rights defenders"[7] while United Nations special rapporteurs called them a "crackdown".[8]

In August 2018, ALQST called for the dropping of charges against Israa al-Ghomgham, a human rights advocate especially known for her documentation of and participation in the Qatif unrest that started in 2011 and continued during 2017–18.[9] ALQST stated that the prosecutor in al-Ghomgham's case had requested that she be sentenced to death for what ALQST described as "her involvement in peaceful rights activism".[10]

Muslim scholars

In September 2018, ALQST reported that Salman al-Ouda, a Saudi Muslim scholar who had in 1993 co-founded the Committee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights, a Saudi opposition group,[11][12] risked the death penalty for lèse-majesté in a court case against him in the Specialized Criminal Court.[13]

Kafala system

In 2018, France 24 and ALQST reported on the use of Twitter and other online social networks by kafala system employers, "kafils", to "sell" migrant domestic workers to other kafils, in violation of Saudi law. ALQST described the online trading as "slavery 2.0".[14]

Appeal to United Nations General Assembly

In October 2018, ALQST joined 160 other civil society organisations in calling for an independent international investigation into the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi and for Saudi Arabia to be suspended from the United Nations Human Rights Council.[7]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "alqst.org". Reporters Without Borders. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "The Saudi air force officer who became a human rights activist". Middle East Eye. 5 March 2015. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Who we are". ALQST. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  4. ^ "British arms dealer 'sold spy technology that enabled Arab Spring crackdowns'". Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. 15 June 2017. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Saudi court jails rights activist over tweets". Thomson Reuters. 28 February 2018. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  6. ^ Dadouch, Sarah; Paul, Katie; Oziel, Clelia (10 February 2018). "Long Robes Not Necessary Attire for Saudi Women: Senior Cleric". US News. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d "Alqst and Over 160 groups call for accountability following murder of journalist and widespread arrest of women's rights defenders". ALQST. 26 October 2018. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Saudi Arabia must immediately free women human rights defenders held in crackdown, say UN experts". Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 27 June 2018. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Saudi Prosecution Seeks Death Penalty for Female Activist". Human Rights Watch. 21 August 2018. Archived from the original on 22 August 2018. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Saudi Arabia 'seeks death penalty' for female activist". Al Jazeera English. 22 August 2018. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  11. ^ Kapiszewski, Andrzej (2006). "Saudi Arabia : Steps Toward Democratization or Reconfiguration of Authoritarianism?". Journal of Asian and African Studies. 41 (5–6): 459–482. doi:10.1177/0021909606067407. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  12. ^ "Awda, Salman al- (1955–) - PERSONAL HISTORY, INFLUENCES AND CONTRIBUTIONS, BIOGRAPHICAL HIGHLIGHTS, PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY:, Arrest and Imprisonment - Saudi, Islamic, Awda's, and Government - JRank Articles". Encyclopedia.jrank.org. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Saudi Arabia criminalises online satire that 'disrupts public order'". The Telegraph/Agence France Presse. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  14. ^ "En Arabie saoudite, des employées de maison sont vendues sur Internet" [In Saudi Arabia, domestic workers are sold on the Internet] (in French). France 24. 13 March 2018. Archived from the original on 29 October 2018. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  15. ^ von Hein, Matthias (10 August 2017). "Is Saudi Arabia waging war on its Shiite minority?". Deutsche Welle. Archived from the original on 24 August 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  16. ^ Brennan, David (21 August 2018). "Who Is Israa al-Ghomgham? Female Saudi Activist May Be Beheaded After Death Sentence". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 24 August 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018.

External links

  • ALQST web site (English) (Arabic)
    • ALQST abuse allegation form
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