JOINT STATEMENT ON CANADA’S SUPPORT FOR WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN SAUDI ARABIA

JOINT STATEMENT ON CANADA’S SUPPORT

FOR WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN SAUDI ARABIA

Ottawa—August 9, 2018

The undersigned organizations express our support to Canada for its recent position on the detention of women human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia. We join Canada in urging Saudi Arabia to release women’s rights activists Samar Badawi and Nassima al- Sada, and commend Minister Freeland for her uncompromising stand for human rights, and for her bold leadership in walking the talk on women’s rights globally.

The detention of Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sada is part of a larger crackdown on civil society and women activists in Saudi Arabia. As reported by Amnesty International, an increasing number of leading women’s rights activists and campaigners have recently been arbitrarily detained for their peaceful human rights work, including Loujain al- Hathloul, Iman al-Nafjan and Aziza al-Yousef –– all leading advocates against Saudi Arabia’s driving ban and repressive guardianship system for women.

Saudi Arabia has a history of silencing vocal human rights activists. Measures taken by the Saudi Arabian government have included arbitrary detention, restrictions on the rights of women and travel bans on activists. These tactics of intimidation and harassment violate international human rights.

We reiterate our call on Saudi Arabia to immediately release activists Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sada, and all women’s rights activists currently in detention.

We urge the international community to join Canada in calling for the unequivocal respect of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia.

Signatories:

Canada-based Organizations

Nobel Women’s Initiative

Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC)

Kairos: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

Oxfam Canada

Oxfam Quebec

Inter Pares

Association Quebécoise des Organismes de Coopération Internationale (AQOCI) The MATCH International Women’s Fund

National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL)

Avocats Sans Frontières – Canada / Lawyers without Borders- Canada

Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers

British Columbia Civil Liberties Association

Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW)

United Nations Association in Canada

International Women’s Rights Project (IWRP)

Institute for International Women’s Right-Manitoba (IIWR-M)

Grandmothers Advocacy Network (GRAN)

Voices – Voix

Women Help Women

Amnesty International – Canada

Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies

United Steelworkers

U.S and Global Organizations

Human Rights Watch

Global Network of Women Peacebuilders

Outright Action International

MADRE

Global Justice Center

Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights Women’s Refugee Commission

Individuals

Isabelle Martin, Associate professor, University of Montreal

Mary Scott, member – Women, Peace and Security Network – Canada Georgina Bencsik, member – Women, Peace and Security Network – Canada

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Categories: Discrimination

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