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December 10, 2015

Saudi Arabia: Free Human Rights Lawyer now!

type: Petition
by: Deniz Zehra Tavli

Waleed has dedicated his life and career to calling on the Saudi Arabian government to respect human rights. He has provided legal representation to many victims of human rights violations in Saudi Arabia, including activists charged with forming ‘unlicensed’ human rights organisations.

In 2009, the authorities banned him from representing specific defendants in courts, but Waleed refused to obey them, continuing to support and represent human rights activists, challenging the authorities. Years of further harrasments by the authorities followed. In spring 2014, Waleed Abu al-Khair was sentenced to 15 years in prison as punishment for his human rights activities.

Saudi-Arabian authoristies declare his activism as terrorism-related ‘crimes’ within the new anti-terrorism law, which the courts applied to Waleed’s case. He is the first human rights activist to be tried and sentenced under the new law, which extended existing laws used by courts to crack down on free speech through overly vague definitions of ‘terrorism'.

Set a sign on Human Rights Day and sign the petition demaning the immediate release of human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair!