Discrimination in law

Women's Rights Slipping Away in the Aftermath of the Egyptian Revolution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
23 July 2011
Contact: NAIROBI: Mary Ciugu, (254) 20 271-9832/913, equalitynownairobi@equalitynow.org
NEW YORK: Karen Asare, (01) 212-586-0906
LONDON: Jacqui Hunt, (44) (0) 20-7839-5456

Equality Now & SOAWR Release Guide on Groundbreaking Protocol on Rights of Women in Africa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
14 July 2011
Contact: NAIROBI: Mary Ciugu, (254) 20 271-9832/913, equalitynownairobi@equalitynow.org

Equality Now and Solidarity for African Women's Rights (SOAWR) Release New Practical Guide on Using the Groundbreaking Protocol on Rights of Women in Africa

How-to-Guide will Equip Activists with Strong Tools to Protect and Advance African Women's Rights

Egypt: Ensure women’s rights are integrated in post-revolution Egypt

Action Number: 
38.1
Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2011 Jul 10
Update Date: 
2013 Mar 14
Update: 

UPDATE 14 MARCH 2013: The Egyptian Constitution was approved by referendum in December 2012 despite a turnout of less than 33%, a yes vote of less than 64% of the turnout, and continuing concerns at the lack of transparency and inclusivity in the drafting process. Parliament is still dissolved and proposed elections were recently suspended by the court.

Equality Now is strategizing with its Egyptian partners on the best way to push for women’s rights, including with regard to the repeal or amendment of laws that discriminate against women and ensuring the meaningful integration of women in all political processes. Of immediate serious concern are the recent attacks on women in Tahrir Square including their subjection to sexual harassment and gang rape. We will have further information shortly on how you can support the work on the ground to address this.


UPDATE 7 March 2012: Despite the promise of the early political changes in Egypt, which inspired the belief that a newly democratic country would include women as full social and political partners, Egyptian women rather fear further deterioration of their rights. Marching in Cairo on International Women’s Day, 8 March, they are calling again for implementation of the Egyptian Women’s Charter, drawn up last year by more than 3,000 women and endorsed by half a million Egyptian citizens, both men and women. Equality Now supports the continuing efforts of Egypt’s women to hold Egyptian authorities accountable for the promotion and protection of their human rights. Since June 2011, women have lost seats in Parliament and presently there are only three women in the Cabinet. TAKE ACTION NOW! Please join us in urging the Egyptian authorities to realize the following demands being made by Egyptian women at the march:

  1. Achieve equality among all citizens, women and men, in the provisions of the constitution and all laws, and create mechanisms that will ensure their proper implementation and recourse for any violations.
  2. Ensure gender equality and fair representation of qualified and experienced women in the committee that will write the new constitution. 
  3. Take appropriate measures to ensure fair political participation of women at all levels of decision-making: in political parties, trade unions and state institutions.
  4. Preserve the social and economic rights achieved by women in their previous struggles and ensure their ability to attain them.
  5. Comply with all international treaties that protect the rights of women, children and human beings in general, and work on lifting reservations to the CEDAW convention.
  6. Establish full citizenship rights and the rule of law that will lead to the revocation of all forms of discrimination based on sex, age, marital status, class, ideological affiliation, etc.

Partners in the revolution and democratic Egypt ©UN Women

Partners in the revolution and democratic Egypt ©UN Women

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Egyptian authorities urging them to take steps to meet the demands laid out in the Women’s Charter.  Call upon them to ensure that 30% of electoral lists are comprised of women so that women have the opportunity to participate in the political life of the country.  The new government should, among other things, ensure that women are represented on the constitutional committee; that at least 40% of ministerial posts go to women; that discriminatory legislation is reviewed and revised; that women have equal access to the same employment and business opportunities as men; and that a strong women’s machinery is established.  Remind the authorities that they should live up to Egypt’s obligations under CEDAW, the ICCPR and the ICESCR.

TAKE ACTION NOW!

Letters should go to:

  • Prime Minister Mr. Hesham Qandil, Magless El Shaàb Street, Al Kasr El Einy, Cairo, EGYPT / Phone: +202-2793-5000, Fax: +202-2795-8048, Email: pm@cabinet.gov.eg

With a copy to:

  • Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, 11 Al’ourubah Street, Cairo, EGYPT / Fax: +202-241-83761,  E-mail: amd@mmc.gov.eg (note: some emails have not been going through to this address; online signatures will be collected and faxed.)

Letters: 

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing to express support for the continuing demand of Egyptian women to be fully integrated in all post-revolution institutions and policy frameworks as laid out in the Egyptian Women’s Charter that has been signed by more than 500,000 people and submitted to you by Michele Bachelet, the Executive Director of UN Women.  

Egyptian women worked side-by-side with men in the revolution and deserve to be recognized as full and equal citizens post-revolution. This would be in line with the Egyptian constitution and Egypt’s international obligations, including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

The Women’s Charter lays out concrete steps towards gender equality that will be reiterated on International Women's Day 2012. I urge you to ensure that: 

  • Women are represented in the committee that will be entrusted with drafting the new constitution, in all legislative committees, and in all dialogue forums that discuss national issues;
  • Women occupy at least 40% of the ministerial positions and 30% of parliamentary electoral lists are comprised of women;
  • The new constitution clearly spells out full equality between men and women in all spheres of life;
  • Women are provided equal opportunities in accessing the labor markets, credit, capital and skills training and protection from any kind of sexual harassment in the workplace;
  • All discriminatory legislation against women is reviewed and revised and in particular Family Law is reformed to reflect human dignity and justice for all members of the family;
  • Women graduates of law schools are provided equal opportunities to acquire judiciary posts;
  • A strong national women’s machinery is established along with gender focal points in all ministries and governorates; a gender equality committee is established inside the parliament; and an Ombudsperson for gender equality is appointed to ensure gender mainstreaming in all policies, plans and programs of the government; and 
  • A national policy is formulated to reflect a positive image of women and to help create a culture with no discrimination against women.

Such steps will ensure that Egyptian women and men have a brighter future based on self-determination, mutual respect and dignity.

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

cc: Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Supreme Council of the Armed Forces
Fax: +202 241 83761

Continued Call for the Repeal of Saudi Arabia's Fatwa on Women Driving

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2011 May 26
Update Date: 
2012 Jun 11
Update: 

UPDATE June 2012: Saudi activists have been advocating for the right to drive for over twenty years with the most recent effort being the Women2Drive mass driving campaign launched in 2011. 17 June 2012 marks a year since the start of the Women2Drive campaign; however the government has still not taken action to give women the right to drive. Rather Saudi activists fighting for women’s rights are being targeted by the government. Manal Al-Sharif who spearheaded the Women2Drive campaign has been persecuted for her efforts including through imprisonment, threats and the loss of her job for speaking out for women’s right to drive. TAKE ACTION NOW!

This 17 June, Saudi activists are calling for renewed support of the Women2Drive campaign by asking women and men around the world to drive to Consulates and Embassies of Saudi Arabia and honk to show their support. Please join us in supporting the ongoing efforts of Saudi women claiming the right to drive and continue to call on the Saudi government to lift the ban on women driving.

__________

UPDATE (16 February 2012): Reportedly, two Saudi women’s rights activists, Manal Al-Sherif and Samar Badawi, have filed lawsuits against the Interior Ministry for refusing to issue them driver’s licenses. They assert that because no law explicitly bars women from driving, there is no justification for refusing to issue them driver’s licenses. While the Fatwa, or religious edict, prohibiting women from driving is not legally binding, it is enforced by the authorities and so effectively has the force of law in Saudi Arabia. Equality Now supports the efforts of women human rights defenders seeking to hold the Saudi government accountable and claim the right to drive and thus freedom of movement, which is key to the realization of associated rights, including the right to education, healthcare, and employment. Please join us as we continue to support Saudi women’s efforts and urge the Saudi government to repeal this Fatwa, which violates Saudi women’s basic human rights. 

__________

UPDATE (29 September 2011): According to reports, the Saudi King has revoked a sentence of flogging imposed on a woman for driving a car in Jeddah.  The woman was sentenced to ten lashes by a Jeddah court on 27 September 2011.  Reportedly, two other Saudi women are also facing charges for driving.  Please write to the Saudi government to release any women detained or arrested for driving and issue orders that women drivers should not be detained, arrested or harassed in any way.  Please continue to express support for the women involved in the Women2Drive campaign and call on the government to lift the ban on women driving.
 

Equality Now is deeply concerned about Saudi Arabia’s Fatwa on Women’s Driving of Automobiles (Shaikh Abdel Aziz Bin Abdallah Bin Baz), 1990, and the recent arrest of Saudi women’s rights activist Manal al-Sherif who was detained on 22 May 2011 in the eastern city of Dammam.  According to reports, she was one of the organizers of an online campaign protesting Saudi Arabia’s driving ban and twice drove an automobile to further their cause.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the King of Saudi Arabia asking him to eliminate and remedy this violation by repealing this Fatwa. Urge him to ensure equality and non-discrimination for women in Saudi Arabia, both under the law and in practice. Please send a similar letter to the Minister of Justice. 

TAKE ACTION NOW!

Letters should go to: 

His Majesty, King Abdullah bin Abdul
Aziz Al Saud
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: +966 1 491 2726

His Excellency Dr. Muhammad bin Abdul El Karim Abdul Azziz El Issa
Minister of Justice
University Street, Riyadh 11137
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: +966 1 401 1741

With a copy to:
The Human Rights Commission, P.O. Box 58889 Riyadh 11515, King Fahed Street, Building 373, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Email: hrc@haq-ksa.org

Letters: 

[Your Highness] [Dear Minister],

I am writing to express my deep concern about Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving as exemplified in the Fatwa issued by Shaikh Abdel Aziz Bin Abdallah Bin Baz in 1990.

For over twenty years Saudi women have been claiming their right to drive but no action has been taken by the government to address their demands. Rather the government is targeting Saudi activists for their work to support women’s rights. Reportedly, women’s rights activist Manal Al-Sherif is being persecuted for her efforts including through threats and the loss of her job for speaking out against the government. I would like to express support for these brave women and for the growing numbers of Saudi women who are claiming their right to drive, as key to their freedom of movement, and who are urging the authorities to lift the effective ban on women drivers. 

I respectfully call on you to ensure that the Interior Ministry grant driver’s licenses to qualified women applicants, and to issue clear instructions that women drivers should not be detained, arrested or harassed in any way. I urge the authorities to repeal the Fatwa and lift the ban which effectively prevents women from driving and undermines women’s ability to realize their rights. I also ask you to ensure equality and non-discrimination for women in Saudi Arabia, both under the law and in practice. 

I thank you for your attention.

Sincerely yours,

Cc: The Human Rights Commission (email: hrc@haq-ksa.org)

Afghan government should withdraw proposed bill to take over women’s shelters

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2011 Feb 5
Update Date: 
2011 May 19
Update: 

UPDATE 19 May 2011: Following widespread criticism of government proposals to take over independent women’s shelters in Afghanistan, the draft regulation was reviewed by civil society organizations and the Criminal Law Review Working Group, comprised of experts from the Afghan Government, and national and international organizations including the UN. The new draft allows shelters to be operated by the government as well as by licensed non-governmental organizations. It also includes provisions which clarify the government’s role in the regulation and oversight of protection centers, and establishes a Department of Protection Centers within the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and coordination committees in each province. This draft is currently awaiting approval from the Council of Ministers.
_______

UPDATE 28 February 2011: While the government of Afghanistan has reportedly agreed to discard their plans to take over women’s shelters, our partners in Afghanistan have informed Equality Now that details are not finalized and a number of outstanding questions remain. Please continue to call on the Afghan government to withdraw the proposed Bill and on donor countries to listen to the concerns Afghan women’s rights activists.

Equality Now is deeply concerned about a proposed Bill by the government of Afghanistan that would relegate women’s shelters, currently being operated by several independent women’s organizations, to the management of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA).

What You Can Do: 

Please contact the Afghan officials below calling on them to withdraw the proposed Bill and ensure that Afghan women who need shelter have a safe place to go where they will get the support they need. Ask also that the government of Afghanistan takes strong steps to live up to its Constitutional and international commitments, including under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), to ensure equality for women and access to justice. Please also write to the main donors to Afghanistan asking them to heed the voices of Afghan women in supporting women’s rights in the country.

Letters should be addressed to:

Afghan government

President Hamid Karzai
Gul Khana Palace
Presidential Palace
Kabul, Afghanistan
Email: president@afghanistangov.org (if you get an error message, can also send care of Feroz Mohmand, Executive Assistant to the President Spokesperson feroz.mohmand@live.com.)

Dr Husn Banu Ghazanfar
Minister of Women Affairs
Ministry of Women’s Affairs
Email: info@mowa.gov.af

Professor Habibullah Ghalib
Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice
Kabul, Afghanistan
Email: ab.qayum@hotmail.com
Tel: + 93 20 2100 322

Letters: 

Dear President Karzai/Minister Habibullah Ghalib/ Minister Husn Banu Ghazanfar [delete as appropriate]

I write to you with deep concern regarding news that the Afghan government has proposed a Bill which would pass the running of women’s shelters in Afghanistan, previously managed by women’s organizations, to the Afghan government.  The new draft regulations propose unwarranted government control over the acceptance, regime and release of women seeking the protection of these shelters.  This could dissuade already terrified and vulnerable women from seeking help and so risk their further harm or even death.  I understand that the government may now be reconsidering its position, which would be welcome news, however reports that Afghan women remain subject to extremely high levels of violence and have restricted access to justice are very worrying. 

I was concerned to learn that a joint report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued in 2009 states that “Afghan women have repeatedly reported that they have lost faith in the law enforcement and judicial institutions that they consider ineffective, incompetent, dysfunctional and corrupt.  Referring an incident to the police, the national directorate of security (i.e., the intelligence service) or a prosecutor is said to be of no avail; cases are usually not taken seriously, properly recorded or acted upon.  Ultimately, authorities are not willing or are not in a position to provide women at risk with any form of protection to ensure their safety”.  This also underlines the critical need for independently-run shelters to give women the support they need.  

I respectfully urge you to ensure that the plans to take over these shelters are immediately discarded.  Rather, the Afghan government must be encouraged to take strong steps to address the underlying reasons why women and girls in Afghanistan are compelled to go to women’s shelters to seek security and support.  This would include ensuring violence against women is prevented and punished to the full extent of the law and providing women full access to justice in accordance with Afghanistan’s Constitutional and international commitments, including under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Thank you for your attention.

Respectfully yours,

Saudi Arabia: Give women equal opportunities to education & end male guardianship over women

Action Number: 
31.4
Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2011 Apr 5
Swsan and her father
Swsan and her father

Swsan Ali El Demini, a bright and ambitious 18-year-old Saudi girl, has dreams of getting the best education. However, Swsan’s education has been an uphill struggle.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the King of Saudi Arabia, the Minister of Higher Education, the Minister of Education and the Shura Council asking them to live up to their obligations under international law to provide men and women equal rights in education with equal access to all academic levels and equal resources and facilities. Urge them to revoke all requirements that hinder female students from pursuing their education at all stages including the requirement that a male guardian accompany any Saudi female who studies abroad on a government scholarship. Urge them to ensure that the Saudi legal and judicial system reflect the stated claim that women are not subject to male guardianship, but rather have the right, among other things, to pursue all levels of education with access to the same fields of study, educational resources and facilities and on the same terms as their male counterparts. Please send a copy to the Human Rights Commission of Saudi Arabia.

>> TAKE ACTION NOW!

Letters should go to:

His Majesty, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: +966 1 491 2726

H.E. Dr. Khaled Al Anqari
Minister of Higher Education
Tel: +966 1 441 5555     
Fax: +966 1 441 9004
contact@mohe.gov.sa

H.E. Faisal Bin Abdullah bin Muhammad Al Sud
Minister of Education
Fax: +96614057279

H.E. Dr. Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Ibrahim Al-Sheikh
Speaker of the Shura Shura Council
Tel: +966 1 482 1666, +966 1 482 1666           
Fax: +966 1 481 6985
webmaster@shura.gov.sa

With a copy to:

The Human Rights Commission
P.O. Box 58889 Riyadh 11515
King Fahed Street, Building 373, Riyadh
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Email: hrc@haq-ksa.org

Letters: 

[His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: +966 1 491 2726]

[H.E. Dr. Khaled Al Anqari
Minister of Higher Education
Tel: +966 1 441 5555
Fax: +966 1 4419004
contact@mohe.gov.sa]

[H.E. Faisal Bin Abdullah bin Muhammad Al Sud            
Minister of Education]
Fax:96614057279+

[H.E. Dr. Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Ibrahim Al-Sheikh
Speaker of the Shura
Shura Council
Tel: +966 1 4821666 , +966 1 4821666      
Fax: +9661 4816985
webmaster@shura.gov.sa]

[Date]

[Your Highness] [Dear Minister],

I am writing to express my deep concern about the system of male guardianship in Saudi Arabia which among other things restricts girls’ access to education and therefore, to a successful and productive future.  Girls cannot be educated without the consent of their male guardian, can be restricted from pursuing further studies at any level, cannot leave the premises of educational institutions without permission from a male guardian and cannot travel abroad to study on a government scholarship without a male guardian.  In addition, the Saudi sex-segregated education system also provides inferior facilities and restricted curricula and fields of study to women. 

A case in point is that of 18-year-old Swsan Ali El Demini who wants to continue her studies overseas in the United States.  However, as her family requires government assistance to cover the cost of a US education, Swsan is unable to apply because of the requirement of the Saudi Ministry of Education that a male guardian accompany any Saudi female who studies abroad on a government scholarship.

I urge you to ensure that Saudi Arabia lives up to its obligations under international law to provide men and women equal rights in education with equal access to all academic levels and equal resources and facilities.  In this respect I urge you to revoke all requirements that hinder female students from pursuing their education at all stages including the requirement that a male guardian accompany any Saudi female who studies abroad on a government scholarship.  Please ensure that the Saudi legal and judicial system reflect the stated claim that women are not subject to male guardianship, but rather have the right, among other things, to pursue all levels of education with access to the same fields of study, educational resources and facilities and on the same terms as their male counterparts.

I thank you for your attention.

Sincerely yours,

Cc: The Human Rights Commission (email: hrc@haq-ksa.org)
       Shura Council
 

Words and Deeds: Holding Governments Accountable in the Beijing + 10 Review Process

Action Number: 
16.5
Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2004 Mar 1

Beijing + 10 Report (pdf, 196KB)

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the heads of state of the countries mentioned in this report and call on them to ensure that the laws mentioned, and any other discriminatory laws in force, are repealed or amended before the agreed target date of 2005. Urge them to undertake and complete these reforms as a demonstration of their genuine commitment to the words and spirit of the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action and the Outcome Document adopted in 2000. To address the harmful and disproportionate impact on women of laws that are gender neutral in language, call on your own government to undertake a comprehensive review, in conjunction with women's groups in the country, of existing laws to identify and address any sex discriminatory impact these laws might have, through legal reform or other measures needed to ensure non-discriminatory implementation of the law. This appeal should be addressed to your Minister of Justice, as well as your President or Prime Minister. Share this report and your concerns with the media and the general public, to enlist their support in this campaign to hold governments accountable to the promises they made in the Beijing Platform for Action. Please keep us updated on your campaign efforts and let us know about discriminatory laws in your country and efforts underway to change them.

Words and Deeds: Holding Governments Accountable in the Beijing +15 Review Process

Action Number: 
16.11
Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2010 Aug 24

At the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, 189 governments pledged in the Beijing Platform for Action to “revoke any remaining laws that discriminate on the basis of sex.” In 2000, the UN General Assembly established a target date of 2005 for revocation of all sex-discriminatory laws. Fifteen years after the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action, and five years past the set target date, numerous laws that explicitly discriminate against women are still in force.

What You Can Do: 

Please call on your government’s foreign ministry as a matter of urgency to support the creation by the Human Rights Council of a special mechanism on women’s equality before the law, including through active engagement in the half-day discussion at the September 2010 session of the Human Rights Council. Share this update and your concerns with the media and the general public to enlist their support in the campaign to hold governments accountable to the Beijing Platform for Action. Please also sign our petition calling on the heads of state indicated in our Beijing +15 report to repeal or amend any discriminatory laws in force as a matter of urgency.

Sample letter

Rapid Response Alert: Equality Now Calls on Iran to Stop the Imminent Execution of Iranian Sisters Zohreh and Azar Kabiri Recently Sentenced to Death by Stoning for Adultery

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2008 Feb 8

In its latest assault on Iranian women’s rights, the Iranian judiciary has sentenced two sisters, Zohreh and Azar Kabiri to death by stoning. According to Iranian media reports, following allegations of adultery by Zohreh’s husband, the sisters were arrested in February 2007. In the first trial, which took place without defense counsel, the sisters were coerced to “confess” to adultery during the course of interrogations by the judge. The General Court of Ferdis found Zohreh and Azar guilty of “inappropriate relations” and sentenced them to 99 lashes.

What You Can Do: 

Please contact Iran’s Head of Judiciary Ayatollah Shahroudi* urging him to release Zohreh and Azar Kabiri immediately and unconditionally from prison. Also urge him to release Kobra Najjar (see Women's Action 29.1 for more information about her case) and to commute all death sentences that have been passed and await execution. Iran must comply with its obligations under the ICCPR and ban the practice of stoning, and recognize adultery as a private act that should not incur criminal penalties.

*The contact information below functioned when previously tested, but you may encounter delivery problems so please keep trying to send your message. Thank you for taking action!

His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Head of the Judiciary
c/o Ministry of Justice
Park-e Shahr
Teheran
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: iripr@iranjudiciary.org, irjpr@iranjudiciary.com and info@dadgostary-tehran.ir
Phone: +98 21 22741002, +98 21 22741003, +98 21 22741004, +98 21 22741005

Please also contact the Iranian embassy in your country. The following link may help you find the contact information: http://www.embassyworld.com/embassy/Iran/Iran.html

In the United States please contact:
Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran
(Housed in the Embassy of Pakistan)
2209 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: (202) 965-4990, (202) 965-4992, (202) 965-4993, (202) 965-4994, (202) 965-4999
Fax: (202) 965-1073
Email: requests@daftar.org

In the United Kingdom please contact:
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
16 Prince's Gate
London SW7 1PT
Phone: 0207 225 3000
Fax: 0207 589 4440
Email: info@iran-embassy.org.uk

 

News Alert: Saudi Arabia: Equality Now issues urgent call for the immediate reunification of the family of Fatima Bent Suleiman Al Azzaz and Mansour Ben Attieh El Timani as the family’s health deteriorates

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2009 Jul 27

Equality Now recently called on the Saudi government to take urgent action to reunite Fatima Bent Suleiman Al Azzaz and Mansour Ben Attieh El Timani, a happily married couple who were forced to divorce against their will and have been living apart under duress for over three years. For more background on the case, please see Women's Action 31.1.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Saudi Ambassador in your country, urging the immediate reunification of Fatima, Mansour and their children so that they can attempt to rebuild their lives in peace and security without fear of persecution or abuse. Ask that the government put a stop to all forced divorces, so that couples who wish can reunite.

Contact information for Saudi embassies around the world can be found on the following websites:

http://www.the-saudi.net/saudi-arabia-directory/Saudi_Embassies/
http://www.saudinf.com/main/p1.htm

Please send copies of your letters to:

Dr. Bandar bin Abdullah El Aiban
President
The Human Rights Commission
P.O. Box 58889 Riyadh 11515
King Fahed Street
Building 373, Riyadh
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: +966 14 612 061
Email: hrc@haq-ksa.org

 

Letters: 

Dear Ambassador:

It is with deep concern that I have learned of the severe trauma of 5-year-old Nuha, daughter of Fatima Bent Suleiman Al Azzaz and Mansour Ben Attieh El Timani, who were divorced by the Saudi authorities against their will and in breach of Saudi Arabia’s obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The forced separation of Nuha and her younger brother Suleiman’s parents and their intolerable treatment by the Saudi authorities is not, by the government’s own admission, legally prescribed. I ask you to do all that you can to end this family’s suffering. Please ask the King to grant the immediate reunification of Fatima, Mansour and their children and allow them to rebuild their shattered lives without fear of persecution or abuse. I ask that you do the same for all other couples forcibly divorced in Saudi Arabia who wish to be reunited.

Sincerely yours,
 

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