Age Islam News Bureau
Iranian Women Protest Arrest, Alleged Forced Confession over Hijab Offense
Anti-Harassment Laws Provide a Safe Environment for Women In Pakistan: Nabila
UAE President Heaps Praise on Emirate’s First Woman To Win World Games Medal
Saudi Women to Soon Enter Fishing Industry
Bakhti Becomes Iran’s First Woman to Win Medal in Epee
by New Age Islam News Bureau
al-Shehab, a Saudi Woman Handed 34-Year Prison Sentence for Following Kingdom’s
Critics on Twitter
al-Shehab, 34, a mother of two young children and a student at Leeds
Saudi woman has been sentenced to 34 years in prison for having a Twitter
account and for following and retweeting the critics of the kingdom, marking
the longest sentence ever given to a women’s rights defender in Saudi Arabia.
al-Shehab, 34, a mother of two young children and a student at Leeds
University, was detained in Saudi Arabia in January 2021 when she was visiting
home for a vacation. She was initially sentenced to six years in prison for
using social media to “disturb public order and destabilize the security and
stability of the state.”
an appeals court on Monday handed down a 34-year prison sentence followed by a
34-year travel ban, after a public prosecutor asked the court to consider other
is now charged with “assisting those who seek to cause public unrest and
destabilize civil and national security by following their Twitter accounts”
and by retweeting their tweets, The Guardian reported, citing a translation of
the court records.
Monday ruling marks the latest example of a major crackdown on Twitter users
led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). It comes a week after a
federal court in the United States found Ahmad Abouammo, a former manager at
Twitter, guilty of spying for Saudi Arabia’s royal family.
received at least 300,000 dollars and a 20,000-dollar luxury watch from Bader
al-Asaker — a close adviser to MBS — to use his insider access to dig up
information about Saudi dissidents active on Twitter, according to prosecutors.
then attempted to conceal the payment by having the money deposited to a
relative’s account in Lebanon first and wired to his US account later.
sentencing also comes a month after US President Joe Biden paid a controversial
visit to Saudi Arabia and fist-bumped the Saudi crown prince despite his
earlier promise to make the Saudis the “pariah that they are” over human rights
abuses, in particular the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi
on the direct orders of the crown prince, also known as MBS.
promises to Biden were ‘a farce’
the time, Biden dismissed warnings by human rights activists that his trip would
“embolden” MBS to continue his human rights violations and targeting of
White House said in a statement at the time that Biden had raised the Khashoggi
case in his meeting with the Saudi crown prince and “received commitments with
respect to reforms and institutional safeguards in place to guard against any
such conduct in the future.”
an editorial on Tuesday, The Washington Post said Shehab’s case showed that the
commitments Biden had received on reforms and institutional safeguards were “a
the very least, Mr. Biden must now speak out forcefully and demand that Ms.
Shehab be released and allowed to return to her sons, 4 and 6 years old, in the
United Kingdom, and to resume her studies there,” the Post said.
the Saudi kingdom, the crown prince commands fear and silence. But in open
societies, his ruthless behavior must be denounced at every opportunity,” it
misogynistic nature exposed
also condemned the ruling. Hala Dosari, a Saudi activist and scholar said it
“shows the vengeful nature of the system against women in particular and
ironically exposes the false formal narrative of women empowerment.”
is irrational, heartbreaking, and disastrous for the hundreds of women detained
or to be detained in similar charges of supporting rights or freedom,” Dosari
tweeted. “This is also reflective of an increased regime insecurity, both
domestically and abroad.”
Aljabri, a Saudi national whose sister and brother are being held in the
kingdom, said the Shehab case proved that Saudi Arabia views any dissent as
draconian sentencing in a terrorism court over peaceful tweets is the latest
manifestation of MBS’s ruthless repression machine,” he said. “Just like
[journalist Jamal] Khashoggi’s assassination, her sentencing is intended to
send shock waves inside and outside the kingdom – dare to criticize MBS and you
will end up dismembered or in Saudi dungeons.”
Women Protest Arrest, Alleged Forced Confession Over Hijab Offense
Rashno was shown for a few seconds on state television on July 30 in what
looked like a studio setting. Her halting voice raised suspicion she was
reading from a text written for her.
of female civil activists have called on Iranian authorities to release a woman
who was arrested for protesting mandatory head-scarf rules after she appeared
on television and gave a "confession" they allege was made under
to the Free Union Workers of Iran's Telegram channel, the women took to the
streets of Tehran carrying placards asking, "Where is Sepideh
Rashno?" and demanded to know her status after the 28-year-old writer and
artist was arrested on June 15 after a video of her arguing with another woman
who was enforcing rules on wearing a head scarf on a bus in Tehran went viral.
other woman threatened to send the video -- which showed Rashno riding the bus
without a hijab -- to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
was subsequently detained and has been held since without access to a lawyer,
nor have the charges against her been made public.
growing concern over her whereabouts, a Twitter campaign started with the
hashtag "Where is Sepideh?"
state television subsequently showed Rashno in a video report on July 30 where
her eyes appeared darkened. Witnesses said she seemed listless and moved
Iranian Human Rights Activists News Agency, the media outlet for Human Rights
Activists in Iran, said on August 5 that Rashno had been beaten before she
confessed on air to breaking the country's hijab law.
to eyewitnesses, Rashno had low blood pressure, had difficulty moving, and was
transferred to a hospital. She returned to prison immediately after being
a one-sided narrative over the confrontation, Rashno was shown for a few
seconds on state television in what looked like a studio setting. Her halting
voice raised suspicion she was reading from a text written for her.
confession aired amid recent reports that authorities in Iran are increasingly
cracking down on women deemed to be in violation of wearing the hijab, which is
mandatory in public in Iran.
hijab first became compulsory in public for Iranian women and girls over the
age of 9 after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Iranian women have flouted the rule over the years in protest and pushed the
boundaries of what officials say is acceptable clothing.
Laws Provide a Safe Environment for Women In Pakistan: Nabila Hakeem
Woman Ombudsman Nabila Hakeem Khan Tuesday said that anti-harassment laws had
played a vital role in providing a safe environment for women in offices.
said this while participating in a dialogue on “Harassment of Women” at a local
said that office-based anti-harassment committees must have detailed knowledge
of their responsibilities and relevant laws.
informed that a consultation process was underway at the divisional level to
implement anti-harassment laws more effectively.
system was being updated to apprise women about their complaints and actions,
she said and added that society could not take advantage of women’s potential
without a protective environment.
on the occasion, technical specialist UNFPA Tania Durrani said awareness of
women’s rights and enforcement of anti-harassment laws had improved
significantly in Pakistan.
said that government and private departments had provided a better environment
for women. The officials of health, education, population welfare, social
welfare departments and commissioner and deputy commissioner offices also
participated in the dialogue and forwarded their recommendations.
president heaps praise on Emirate’s first woman to win World Games medal
UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has congratulated Shamma Al
Kalbani for becoming the first Emirati woman to win a medal during the World
president met Kalbani – who scooped bronze in the 63kg category women’s
jiu-jitsu at the Birmingham World Games in July - alongside the other Emirati
winners of the jiu-jitsu competition at the games on Monday.
competition, which took place in Birmingham, Alabama, is one of the most
important global multi-sport events in the world.
UAE grapplers won five medals at the championship, with Faisal Al-Ketbi winning
gold in the 85 kilogram and open weight categories, and Mohammed Al-Suwaidi
taking home silver in the 69 kilogram division. Shamma Al-Kalbani became the
first Emirati female athlete to clinch a medal at the World Games, winning two
bronze medals in the 63 kilogram and open weight categories.
also congratulated the board of directors of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation and
commended their efforts in developing the martial art.
response the delegation thanked the president for his support of the sport in
Source: Arab News
women to soon enter fishing industry
For the first time in Saudi Arabia, females are being trained to become
fisherwomen, breaking the barriers of male-dominated profession, local media
reported. As part of the programme, a first batch of 60 women are being
trained, media quoted officials as saying.
to the fishing industry was restricted in the conservative Kingdom, but off
late Saudi women are now taking up new jobs as part of reforms in force since
2019, enabling women to work in previously male-dominated professions.
60 women will be trained to fish safely and make money from their catch. They
will also be trained on how to sell and market their products.
training is provided by the National Fisheries Development Programme of the
Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture. Mousa Al Kanani, deputy CEO of
the programme, said the initiative aims to train Saudi young men and women to
be able to work in the fishing industry.
programme was launched to achieve sustainable development and increase the
contribution of the fisheries and aquaculture sector to the Kingdom’s GDP in
line with the Vision 2030 to diversify the Saudi economy.
becomes Iran’s first woman to win medal in epee
fencer seized a bronze medal in the 2021 Islamic Solidarity Games on Tuesday in
the Women’s Epee Individual.
Aleyna Ertürk defeated Uzbekistan Shahzoda Egamberdieva in the final match.
than 4,000 athletes from 56 countries compete in the Games in Konya, Turkey.
are 19 sports and four Para sports on the program.
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