On 15 June 2022, the Human Rights Council held the interactive dialogue on the report of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights since, and human rights violations and abuses committed during, the period of the military takeover in the Sudan. ISHR delivered a joint statement on behalf of MENA Women Human Rights Defenders Coalition, Sudan Women Rights Action and Nora Center for Combating Sexual Violence, on the situation of women and human rights in Sudan to shed light on the struggle for equality, freedom and democracy.
18 June is the birthday of the late Alaa Al-Siddiq, a prominent Emirati campaigner for human rights whose fate it was to die in a tragic car accident on 19 June 2021, the day after her birthday. To commemorate her and her dedicated work in the struggle for human rights, the undersigned organisations hereby announce the naming of her birthday as “Alaa Al-Siddiq Day”.
Alaa Al-Siddiq was an Emirati human rights campaigner whose family were stripped of their citizenship after her father Mohammed Abdulrazzaq Al-Siddiq’s arrest in 2012. A year before that, she had signed the 3 March petition in which a number of Emiratis called for democratic and political reform. After her father’s arrest, Alaa’s family moved to Qatar, where she continued her education and obtained an MA in Public Policy from Hamad Bin Khalifa University. Alaa moved to London in 2019 and worked there as Executive Director of Diwan London, later becoming Executive Director of ALQST for Human Rights.
Alaa dedicated her life to defending prisoners of conscience in the UAE and the Gulf, foremost among them her father Mohammed Al-Siddiq, who remains detained to this day despite his prison term having expired in April 2022. Alaa was also known for her opposition to the normalisation of relations with Israel, and her defence of the Palestinian cause and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people; she took part in several demonstrations denouncing the crimes of the Israeli occupation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Alaa paid dearly for her freedom fighting, as she was constantly being harassed by the UAE authorities and having her electronic devices hacked, including her mobile phone, by means of the Pegasus spyware created and developed by Israeli cybersurveillance firm NSO Group.
And so in memory of Alaa’s struggle to defend prisoners of conscience we, the undersigned organisations, call for the immediate release of her father Mohammed Al-Siddiq, and all prisoners of conscience in the UAE, the Arab Gulf and other countries across the Middle East and North Africa region.
ALQST for Human Rights
Emirates Detainees Advocacy Centre (EDAC)
Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor
Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR)
HuMENA for Human Rights and Civic Engagement
International Campaign for Freedom in the UAE (ICFUAE)
International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR)
International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
MENA Rights Group
Omani Association for Human Rights
The Omani Centre for Human Rights
Human rights defender Mohamed El-Baqer must be released immediately and unconditionally, stated 19 human rights organisations. His detention is arbitrary, aimed at punishing him for his legitimate human rights work and is only putting his life and psychological well-being at serious risk.
Women journalists and protesters are doing a vital work to advance democracy and human rights in Sudan. They should be supported but instead, State police attacks and intimidates them. This must change!