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Prospects of reform in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

 Three imprisoned Right Livelihood Award Laureates. From the left: Mohammed Fahad al-Qahtani, Waleed Abu al-Khair and Abdullah al-Hamid. Picture from www.rightlivelihoodaward.org/

Three imprisoned Right Livelihood Award Laureates. From the left: Mohammed Fahad al-Qahtani, Waleed Abu al-Khair and Abdullah al-Hamid. Picture from www.rightlivelihoodaward.org/

Welcome to a breakfast seminar at UI, the Swedish Institute of Foreign Affairs, with representatives for the jailed Saudi 2018 Right Livelihood Award Laureates.

Abdullah al-HamidMohammad Fahad al-Qahtani, and Waleed Abu al-Khair (picture above) 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, will receive the Award on their behalf together with the 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?

Welcome to a seminar with 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 will be 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.

The seminar will be co-arranged by Right Livelihood Award Foundation and Amnesty in Sweden.

For registration please click this link.