Prospects of Reform in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The Swedish Institute of International Affairs, the Right Livelihood Foundation and Amnesty International organised a seminar with representatives for the jailed Saudi 2018 Right Livelihood Award Laureates.
Abdullah al-Hamid, Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani, and Waleed Abu al-Khair are among the 2018 Right Livelihood Laureates “for their visionary and courageous efforts, guided by universal human rights principles, to reform the totalitarian political system in Saudi Arabia.”
The three Laureates, all of them prominent Saudi civil and human rights defenders, are currently serving prison sentences ranging from 10-15 years due to their demands for the separation of powers, equality for all and an inclusive political approach in order to secure a positive future for their country. Yahya Assiri, a prominent Saudi Human Rights defender, received the Award on their behalf together with family of Fahad al-Qahtani.
In light of the larger purported reform agenda envisaged by the Crown Prince, what is the status of the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia? How should the international community respond to human rights violations like the assassination of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi and what role can human rights activists play in shaping the country's future?
Main guest: Yahya Assiri, a Human Rights Activist who has founded and runs the human rights organization ALQST (or Al Qst) which documents human rights abuses and promotes human rights in Saudi Arabia. Earlier employed by the Royal Saudi Air Force, he has lived in London since 2013.
The seminar was moderated by Bitte Hammargren, Analyst at the Swedish Defence Research Agency, FOI, and Senior Associate Fellow at the Middle Middle East and North Africa Programme, UI.
Twitter hashtags: #uievent #rightlivelihoodaward