Discrimination in law

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,
 

News Alert: Pakistan: Equality Now Calls on the Government of Pakistan to Protect the Rights of Women and Girls in the Swat Valley and Federally Administered Tribal Areas

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2009 Feb 17

Please find below an opinion piece from today's UK Independent newspaper written by Equality Now. The piece highlights the deteriorating situation of law and order in the Swat and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan which is leading to increased violence and discrimination against women. It also questions the Government of Pakistan’s plans to implement shariah (Islamic law) as part of a peace deal with militants.

What You Can Do: 

Please contact the officials below urging them to ensure the rights of women and girls are protected and not sacrificed in order to appease militants in Swat and FATA.

President Asif Ali Zardari
President of Pakistan
President's Secretariat
Islamabad, Pakistan

Mr Farooq Naik
Minister of Law, Justice and Human Rights
S Block Pakistan Secretariat
Islamabad, Pakistan

Mr Ameer Hussain Hoti
Chief Minister of North West Frontier Province
info@nwfp.gov.pk
Tel: +92- 92-9211705

Please also send copies of your messages to the Speaker of the House of Parliament:

Dr Fehmida Mirza
Speaker, National Assembly of Pakistan
Parliament House
Islamabad, Pakistan
E-mail: speaker@na.gov.pk

 

Letters: 

[add address of relevant official]

Dear [name]

I am writing to express my deep concern about the violence and discrimination being faced by women and girls in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and in Swat in Pakistan and, in particular, the latest reports that the Government of Pakistan is ready to approve the implementation of shariah law in these areas as part of a peace agreement.

A parallel, uncodified, justice system would not only bring confusion to those seeking to assert their rights, it would also risk denying them the protections provided by Pakistan’s national laws as well as under Pakistan’s Constitution. Given the record of the militants to date, evidence suggests that rights already provided by Pakistan’s Constitution, especially those of women and girls, would be denied or diminished under any system administered by the militants. This would be a violation of constitutional guarantees of equality among other things.

I would therefore respectfully urge the Government urgently to reject endorsement of any alternative legal system which does not guarantee equality to all. We would also urge you to take active steps to uphold and protect the rights of women and girls, including by effectively countering the militants’ ban on girls’ education and ensuring girls’ safe access to education.

I thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely
 

News Alert: Pakistan: Fundamentalist Pressure in North West Frontier Province of Pakistan Has Led to Alarming Violence and Discrimination Against Girls and Women

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2009 Jan 1

Equality Now Calls on Pakistan's Government to Protect Girls and Ensure Their Right to Education

In late December 2008 the Taliban ordered a ban on girls’ education in the district of Swat in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. The announcement made by an extremist cleric, Maulana Fazlullah through an illegal FM radio station, asked all parents to remove their daughters from school (both private and public) by 15 January 2009, failing which schools would be bombed, girls murdered and, like the recent case in Afghanistan, acid thrown in their faces.

What You Can Do: 

Equality Now is calling on the Government of Pakistan to take immediate action, coordinated between law enforcement, legislature (national and provincial), the Ministry of Education and other line ministries to ensure women and girls in FATA and Swat are able to fully exercise their rights without fear of violence or intimidation including the access of all girls to school as well as their security in school. In addition, the Government should reject the endorsement of any alternative legal system which does not guarantee to all citizens the rights provided under the Pakistani Constitution and the international human rights instruments to which Pakistan is a party. Please write to the officials listed below asking them to give immediate and urgent attention to eliminate the threat to girls’ education in Swat and to curb all moves to reduce or deny women’s rights in Pakistan.

President Asif Ali Zardari
President of Pakistan
President's Secretariat
Islamabad, Pakistan

Dr. Fehmida Mirza
Speaker, National Assembly of Pakistan
Parliament House
Islamabad, Pakistan
E-mail: speaker@na.gov.pk

Meer Hazar Khan Bijarani
Minister of Education
Ministry of Education
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: (0092-51) 920-1392, 921-2020
E-mail: minister@moe.gov.pk

 

Letters: 

[add address of relevant official]

Dear [President Zardari/Dr, Mirza/ Minister] [delete as appropriate]

I am writing to express my deep concern about the violence and discrimination being faced by women and girls in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Swat in Pakistan and, in particular, the targeting of girls’ schools by militants who have announced a ban on girls’ education effective 15 January 2009. I am also concerned about reports that the Government of Pakistan is considering the adoption of shariah (Islamic law) in these areas as a way to compromise with the militants.

I urge the Government of Pakistan to take immediate action, coordinated between law enforcement, legislature (both national and provincial), the Ministry of Education and other relevant ministries in order to ensure that women and girls in FATA and Swat are able to fully exercise their rights without fear of violence or intimidation, including the access of all girls to school as well as their security. I urge the Government to ensure that any intervention upholds Pakistan’s commitments to gender equality and education under its Constitution as well as under international human rights instruments ratified by it. As such, I would also urge you to reject the endorsement of any alternative legal system which does not guarantee equality to all.

I thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely

 

News Alert: Iran: Equality Now Condemns the Abduction and Illegal Arrest of Iranian Human Rights Activist and Lawyer Shadi Sadr

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2009 Jul 1
Update Date: 
2009 Jul 28
Update: 

28 July 2009

Equality Now welcomes the news of Shadi Sadr's release from prison on 28 July 2009, following her illegal arrest on 17 July 2009 (please see below for history). Currently no further action is needed and we would like to thank all our members for their efforts in calling for Shadi's release.

Equality Now is deeply concerned for the welfare of human rights activist and lawyer Shadi Sadr who was allegedly beaten, manhandled and arrested without warrant in Tehran on 17 July on her way to Friday prayers. Her friends who were accompanying her have reported that she was dragged into a car by plain-clothes officials. Shadi struggled out of the car and managed to escape with her friends’ help, but was pursued by other officials who beat her violently with a baton and then drove her away.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Iranian Embassy in your country calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Shadi Sadr who was arrested without justification. Express your extreme concern about her assault at the hands of plain-clothes security officials. Ask for the release of all those currently detained for the peaceful expression of their beliefs. Contact information for Iranian embassies around the world can be found at:

http://www.offshorewave.com/embassies_show.php?country_id=98
http://www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-of/Iran

 

News Alert: Iran: Equality Now Welcomes News of the Commutation Of Kobra Najjar’s Stoning But Condemns The Sentence Of 100 Lashings To Take Its Place

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2009 Jan 1
Update Date: 
2009 May 6
Update: 

6 May 2009

Equality Now welcomes news of Kobra Najjar's release from prison. Kobra is an Iranian woman who was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery—a judgment based on the prostitution her abusive husband forced upon her in order to sustain his heroin addiction. We would like to thank all our members who campaigned against her execution by stoning and for her release. A campaign update will follow soon.
 

The Iranian government has commuted the execution of Kobra Najjar, an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery—a judgment based on the prostitution her abusive husband forced upon her in order to sustain his heroin addiction.

What You Can Do: 

Please immediately contact Iran’s Head of Judiciary Ayatollah Shahroudi* welcoming news of Zohreh and Azr Kabiri’s pending release and urging him to commute Kobra’s sentence for lashing and call for her immediate and unconditional release from prison. Call on him to do all that he can to end the cruel punishment of stoning once and for all.

*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

Saudi Arabia: Women under Perpetual Guardianship of Male Relatives

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2010 May 17

On 17 February 2010, after four years of separation, Fatima Bent Suleiman, Mansour El Timani and their children were finally reunited following a decision by the Supreme Judiciary Council to overturn their forced divorce. Fatima’s marriage had been approved by Fatima’s father in 2003, but after his death her half-brothers petitioned for her divorce on the grounds of her tribal incompatibility with her husband. Fatima believes one reason for this was to enable her half-brothers through legal guardianship to retain control over her inheritance.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the King of Saudi Arabia and the Minister of Justice asking 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 aspects, to enter into and stay in marriages of their choice without third party interference and make relevant decisions about their education, healthcare, travel and employment and other aspects of life. Urge them to support the establishment of a codified personal status law to guarantee the rights of women in marriage, divorce and all other aspects of life and to revoke the male guardianship system that hinders women’s participation in both private and public life. TAKE ACTION!

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 Elkarim 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

Sample letter

Iran: Call on the Government of Iran to stop the imminent execution of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2010 Jun 28
Update Date: 
2012 Jul 2
Update: 

Update 2 July 2012: Based on information currently available, Equality Now believes that Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s death sentence may have been commuted and she will no longer be stoned to death or hanged. We will continue to monitor the case. Thank you for taking action and we will keep you updated as further information is received from our partners on the ground.
___________

Update 29 September 2010: Equality Now calls on the Government of Iran to commute Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s death sentence.

Equality Now is deeply concerned about the news stating that Iran has sentenced Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani to death by hanging for the murder of her husband and condemns the lack of due legal process in her case.

Iran’s National Prosecutor General Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei is reported to have stated that “according to the court’s ruling, she is convicted of murder and her death sentence has priority over her punishment (for committing adultery)”. Contradicting this account however, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast is reported to have said that a decision has still not been made and the court is considering both the adultery and murder charge against Ms. Mohammadi-Ashtiani.

In May 2006, Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani was sentenced to 99 lashes for allegedly having “illicit relations” with two men and a prison term for being an accessory to her husband’s murder. In September 2006, the Sixth Branch of the Penal Court of East Azerbaijan Province, despite having no new evidence and despite a “double jeopardy” provision in Iranian law that prohibits the State from trying a person for an offence for which she has already been acquitted or convicted, sentenced Ms. Mohammadi-Ashtiani to stoning to death for adultery.

Following international outcry, Ms. Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s stoning was halted. However, Iranian authorities seem determined to have her executed without any regard for Iranian law or international legal standards. To this end, they appear to be illegally resurrecting the murder charge so that Ms. Mohammadi-Ashtiani can be put to death by the State by any means possible.

TAKE ACTION! Equality Now calls upon the Iranian government to rescind Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani's death sentence. We urge the government to commute all sentences of death by stoning and the prohibition by law of all cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments, such as flogging and stoning in accordance with Iran’s obligations under the ICCPR. We also urge the officials to initiate a comprehensive review of the Civil and Penal Codes of Iran to remove all provisions that discriminate against, or have a discriminatory impact on, women, including those regarding adultery and fornication, in accordance with Iran’s constitutional provision for equality before the law.

Please contact officials below calling for the commutation of Sakineh’s death sentence.
___________

Update 13 August 2010: Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s lawyer Mr. Mohammad Mostafaei has been granted asylum in Norway after fleeing Iran. It has also been reported that Mr. Mostafaei’s wife and brother-in-law have been released from prison. Equality Now welcomes news of their release and that Mr. Mostafaei is safe from harassment, however we remain concerned about the welfare of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani who remains under threat of execution. Please continue to write to officials below to call for her immediate release.
___________

Update 26 July 2010: Equality Now calls on Iranian authorities to rescind the arrest warrant issued against Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s lawyer and to immediately and unconditionally release all members of his family held in custody.

Equality Now condemns the harassment of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s lawyer Mr Mohammad Mostafaei by Iranian authorities. Mr Mostafaei was summoned for questioning by the Iranian government authorities. He has been asked to attend for another round of interrogation and the information we have received is that an arrest warrant has also been issued in his name allegedly for fraud and corruption. Mr Mostafaei has now disappeared, we believe due to fear of being arrested and imprisoned. It is our understanding that authorities have arrested Mr Mostafaei’s wife and brother-in-law in order to force him to come forward. His current whereabouts are unknown and it is possible he might already be in custody.

Equality Now is deeply concerned about the serious and persistent threats to human rights defenders in Iran. Please call on the authorities listed below to immediately and unconditionally release of all Mr Mostafaei’s family members held in custody, rescind any arrest warrant issued against Mr Mostafaei and allow Mr Mostafaei to carry out his legitimate duties without interference. Please also continue to call for Sakineh’s immediate release as she remains under threat of execution.
___________

Update 9 July 2010: Equality Now welcomes the announcement from the Iranian Embassy in London that Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani will no longer be stoned to death. However, we remain concerned for Ms Mohammadi-Ashtiani as her death sentence has not been commuted and her fate is unknown. Please continue to write to the authorities below calling on them to commute Ms Mohammadi-Ashtiani's death sentence, to commute all sentences of death by stoning, to prohibit by law all cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments and to remove all provisions that discriminate against, or have a discriminatory impact on, women, including those regarding adultery and fornication, in accordance with Iran’s own constitutional provision for equality before the law.

 

Sakineh Mohammadi-AshtianiURGENT ALERT: IRAN
June 2010

Call on the Government of Iran to stop the imminent execution of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani sentenced to death by stoning

Equality Now is deeply concerned about Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Iranian officials below calling for Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s immediate release, the commutation of all sentences of death by stoning and the prohibition by law of all cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments, such as flogging and stoning in accordance with Iran’s obligations under the ICCPR. Urge the officials also to initiate a comprehensive review of the Civil and Penal Codes of Iran to remove all provisions that discriminate against, or have a discriminatory impact on, women, including those regarding adultery and fornication, in accordance with Iran’s own constitutional provision for equality before the law. TAKE ACTION!

His Excellency Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani
Head of the Judiciary
Vali Asr Avenue, above the intersection Pasteur,
Azizi Street 2, No. 4,
Office of Public Relations and Judicial Procedures
Tehran
Iran
Email: info@dadiran.ir

Equality Now will forward letters to Iranian officials on behalf of anyone who does not wish to include her or his personal contact information. Please send letters to info@equalitynow.org.

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

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

Sample letter

Lebanon: Give women equal citizenship rights to men under the nationality law

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2010 Jul 12

Hiam Abd El SamadHiam Abd El Samad and her Egyptian husband Anwar Hasaneen married in Lebanon 23 years ago and have three daughters Nour 17, ‘Amar 12 and ‘Ayia 9 years. The family continues to reside in Lebanon, which they consider their home. However, because Hiam cannot pass her Lebanese nationality to her husband and daughters under Lebanese nationality law, the family has had to suffer significant hardships and deprivation.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Lebanese President, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the House and the Minister of Justice asking them to recognize the adverse effects that the discriminatory Lebanese nationality law has on the families of Lebanese women married to foreign men and, accordingly, to revise the Lebanese nationality law to ensure that all Lebanese citizens, male or female, have the equal right to confer their Lebanese nationality on their spouses and children. TAKE ACTION!

Letters should go to:

President Michel Suleiman
President of Lebanon
Baabda - The Presidential Palace
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: +961 1 425 393
Tel: +961 5 468 390 / 457 111
Email: open@presidency.gov.lb
president_office@presidency.gov.lb

Mr. Nabih Berri
Speaker of the House
Najmeh Square
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: +961 1 983 059
Tel: +961 1 982 045/9
Email: President@lp.gov.lb

Mr. Mohamed Najeb Mikati
Prime Minister
Grand Serail
Riad Solh Street
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: +961 1 746 805 / +961 1 980 500
Tel: +961 1 746 800 00 / +961 1 983 022 to 30

Mr. Shakib Qorthbawi
Minister of Justice
P.O. Box 9400
Badaro - Sami el Solh Street
Near the Palace of Justice
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: +961 1 427 975
Tel: +961 1 422 944
Email: info@justice.gov.lb

With copies to:

Mrs. Wafa Suleiman
President - National Commission of Lebanese Women
Hazmieh - Main Road - Chahine Commercial Center - 2nd Floor
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: +961 5 955 103
Tel: +961 5 955 101/2
Email: info@nclw.org.lb

Mr. Marwan Charbel
Minister of Interior & Municipalities
Sanayeh
P.O. Boxes 9710 and 9500
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: +961 1 744 429
Tel: +961 1 750 607, +961 1 751 607
Email: info@moim.gov.lb

Sample letter

Mexico: Take action against the officials who raided a high security women’s shelter in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua State

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2010 Jul 19

On 9 June 2010, fourteen men, six of whom were carrying high-powered weapons, arrived at the secret facilities of Sin Violencia A.C. (“Without Violence”), the only high security shelter in Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua State, Mexico, for women at extreme risk of violence. Heading the group was court clerk Román García, who presented a copy of an official letter signed by the First Judge of the Bravos Judicial District Family Court, Lic. Guadalupe Manuel de Santiago Aguayo.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Head of the Chihuahua State Supreme Court and the Governor of Chihuahua and ask them to take disciplinary action against the state officials involved in the raid on the shelter and to look into the possibility of prosecuting these officials who have so blatantly violated both the letter and the spirit of Mexico’s General Law on Women’s Access to a Life Free of Violence. Ask them also to ensure that relevant government officials are thoroughly trained in implementing this law and in conducting themselves appropriately towards victims of violence and their defenders. Remind them of their obligations under state, federal and international law to protect the human rights of women. TAKE ACTION!

Letters should go to:

Lic. Rodolfo Acosta Muñoz
Head of the Supreme Court of the State of Chihuahua
Calle Allende No 901.
C.P. 31000, Zona Centro
Chihuahua, Mexico
Tel: +52 614 1 800 700 ext. 12800
Email: rodolfo.acosta@stj.gob.mx

Lic. José Reyes Baeza
Governor of the State of Chihuahua
Palacio de Gobierno
Calle Aldama # 901 Col Centro
C.P. 31000
Chihuahua, Mexico
Fax: +52 614 4 29 34 64
Tel: +52 614 4 29 33 00 ext. 11123
Email: secretariaparticularchihuahua@hotmail.com

Send a copy to: Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres
Email: accion@cedehm.org.mx

 Sample letter

 

Saudi Arabia: Forced Divorce—Women under Perpetual Guardianship of Male Relatives

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2009 Feb 1

Fatima Bent Suleiman Al Azzaz married Mansour Ben Attieh El Timani in 2003 with the consent of her father (her guardian) as required in Saudi Arabia. The couple was happily married and had two children, a girl Nuha, born in May 2004, and a boy Suleiman, born in November 2005.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the King of Saudi Arabia and the Minister of Justice asking 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 enter into and stay in marriages of their choice without third party interference. In this respect, urge them to support the establishment of a codified personal status law to guarantee the rights of women in marriage and divorce, ensuring that such law is based upon principles of equality and non-discrimination. Call upon them to take urgent action to reunite Fatima, Mansour and their children as a family whose rights are recognized and protected under the Saudi Constitution, as well as other couples who have been divorced without their consent (to the extent such couples want to be reunited) and to ensure that no couple is divorced without the consent of at least one of them. Letters should go to:

His Majesty, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tel: +966 1 488 2222
Fax: +966 1 491 2726

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

With a copy 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: shakwa@haq-ksa.org

Letters: 

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

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

[Your Highness] [Dear Minister],

I am writing to you in regard to the case of Fatima Bent Suleiman Al Azzaz who was forcibly divorced from her husband Mansour Ben Attieh El Timani in a decision upheld by the Cassation Court. The court held that any relative of a woman could petition a court to invalidate her marriage on the basis of her “tribal incompatibility” with her husband and upheld the principle of perpetual male guardianship of women by their male relatives. Several other cases of forced divorce have followed.

I urge you to take immediate action to reunite Fatima, Mansour and their two children as a family whose rights are recognized and protected under the Saudi Constitution, as well as other couples who have been divorced without their consent (to the extent that such couples want to be reunited) and to ensure that no couple is divorced without the consent of at least one of them. In this regard, I ask you to ensure that the Saudi legal and judicial system reflect the stated claim of the Saudi government that women are not subject to male guardianship, but rather have the right, among other things, to enter into and stay in marriages of their choice without third party interference. I urge you to support the establishment of a codified personal status law to guarantee the rights of women in marriage and divorce, ensuring that such law is based upon principles of equality and non-discrimination.

I thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely
 

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