Saudi Arabia

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. The couple refused to accept the judgment, was forced to live apart and suffered considerable hardships and trauma. In February 2009, Equality Now issued Women’s Action 31.1 calling on the Saudi Government to end the practice of male guardianship over women and reunite Fatima, Mansour and their children as a family. In September 2009, following months of advocacy, King Abdullah ordered the Saudi Supreme Judiciary Council to re-examine the decision of the General Court of Jof, which had ordered the couple to be forcibly divorced.

In an unprecedented outburst toward Saudi Arabia's religious police, a married woman shot at several officers in a patrol car after she was caught in an "illegal seclusion" with another man in the province of Ha'il on Tuesday. "She shot at the officers to distract them and allow the man to escape instant detention," said Sheik Mutlak al Nabet, a spokesman for the religious police in Ha'il. He added that the unnamed woman's husband has filed an official report, asking for his wife to be punished and stripped of her Saudi nationality.

A dual Indian and Canadian national who complained to the Canadian government that her father was keeping her in Riyadh against her will has finally left the Kingdom. According to the Canadian Embassy, Nazia Quazi, 24, left the Kingdom on Monday. “Quazi, who was given all possible assistance by the Canadian mission, has flown out of Saudi Arabia,” said Sidney Fisher, spokeswoman for the Canadian Embassy in Riyadh. 

وجه صاحب السمو الملكي الأمير عبدالعزيز بن ماجد بن عبدالعزيز أمير منطقة المدينة المنورة بإيقاف أعمال الحفر والتكسير التي شهدها جبل سلع منذ خمسة أشهر. كما وجه بإحالة ملف الجبل إلى هيئة تطوير المدينة المنورة، وتشكيل لجنة من عدة جهات لدراسة كافة تفاصيل قضية هدمه وإصدار القرار المناسب حيالها، وبعدم السماح لأي أعمال حفر أو تكسير حول الجبل حتى يتم اتخاذ قرار مناسب (المدينة 26/3/2010). وقد تفاءل الكثيرون بهذا التوجيه خيراً، ولكن أهالي المدينة ما زالوا يبثون أخباراً داخلية حول استمرار عملية الهدم والحفر على الرغم من التوجيه والمنع (انظر على سبيل المثال طيبة نت التي رصدت أعمال عودة العمال والحفارات يوم 6/4/2010 بالصورة والفيديو

Feminist concern about the violation of women’s rights by male clerics in Muslim countries is slowly producing a response from some states. At the same time, rights activists are increasingly reporting examples of clerics who are standing up for women’s rights. This isn’t about the progressive male and female scholars that are increasingly visible in the Muslim world, nor about the occasional female imam; it’s about male preachers on the streets and in the villages.

A girl aged 12 has won a divorce from her 80-year-old husband in Saudi Arabia in a case that may help to introduce a minimum age of marriage in the kingdom for the first time. Update on Saudi Arabia: Rights panel take up child bride case

One of the most contentious issues within Islam today is the role of women in society. Conservatives endorse a narrow reading of Islamic texts to justify restrictions on women's mobility, legal rights and access to the public sphere, including health care, education and the workplace. Extremists among them use violence to impose their views. Moderate Muslims, on the other hand, find plenty within the Qur'an to support a full role and equal rights for women.

نريد أن نسمع رأي وزارة العدل فيما يجري في قضائنا. مللنا من تكرار القضايا الفضائحية التي تجعلنا مضحكة أمام العالم ومسؤولونا لا يعلقون وكأن الأمر يجري في كوكب آخر والمطالبات كثيرة والقضايا العجيبة أكثر، منها:

UN rights chief Navi Pillay on Monday called on Gulf states to remove barriers that restrict women's rights to control their own lives and that prevent their participation in public life. Women in the region are still unable to fully enjoy their human rights," Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said at a university near Jeddah.

ويعد التقرير، الذي صدر في ثلاثمائة صفحة، هو المجلد الخامس من سلسلة تقارير التنمية الإنسانية العربية، التي يرعاها برنامج الأمم المتحدة الإنمائي، ويضعها عدد من المثقفين والباحثين في البلدان العربية. وانتقد التقرير أوضاع حقوق الإنسان في البلاد العربية، وعلاقة الدولة فيها بالمواطن وأمنه وحقوقه، وغياب الدولة المدنية.

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