The case Rahaf Mohammed: the turning point of the Saudi human rights policy?


The 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed from Saudi Arabia is currently experiencing a wave of international solidarity. It can also change the attitude of the Saudi government?

Rahaf Mohammed was detained during a stopover in Thailand

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun can breathe a sigh of relief. The United Nations have recognized the young saudi Arabian woman as a refugee. Now Australia is considering, according to the competent Ministry of the interior, from Wednesday, the 18-year-old woman to grant, on humanitarian grounds, a visa. As things Stand, she doesn’t need a forced to be feared return to their country of birth.

Alqunun had fled from there, because they feared, according to a further ill-treatment by her family. After they had resisted a forced marriage, she was imprisoned for half a year at home. She was also supposed to have renounced Islam. In the Saudi Kingdom, this decision may attract the death penalty.

Hardly, the decision was made, showed Rahaf Mohammed not only in their own right combative. Via Twitter, she asked for solidarity with the Bahraini football player Hakeem Al-Araibi, has been sitting for about a month and a half in Thai custody.

The Bahraini authorities issued an arrest warrant on the grounds that Al-Araibi have rioted in 2012 on a police station. The football player denies. He returns the warrant to the fact that he had participated in, as well as other athletes – in the Arab Protest 2011, in a Demonstration for freedom of rights. In the same year, he bat in Australia to asylum. The country approved the request in 2017.

Process in Thailand: the footballer Hakeem al-Araibi

In 2014, Al was sentenced-Araibi by a court in Bahrain in absentia to a ten-year prison sentence. As Al-Araibi and his wife made in November last year, holidays in Thailand, they were arrested by the local authorities on the basis of the Bahraini arrest warrant. Open the question of whether the international police responding authority Interpol on a warrant from Bahrain is appropriate currently.

Hardly, in turn, recognised as a refugee, published Rahaf Mohammed is now a Tweet to the case of Al-Araibi.

Wave of solidarity

Rahaf Mohammed is currently experiencing a lot of international support. 129.000 people follow her on Twitter. Many of them are happy with their success. And many young Arab women to recognize themselves in her.

Alqununs case, let’s hope, says the journalist Sarah Aziza in an interview with DW. Finally, the reports of human rights grievances in Saudi would have heaped Arabia, Aziza in an interview with DW. “This Time, many activists and people were prepared in the West, to react and to criticise the Saudi government. Also important is the fact that some of the Tweets, and it felt that the prompts were written to the government in English. This has also helped to strengthen the mobilization of tensile force. In addition, not only the citizens of the West but also Saudi Arabia, the government in Riyadh is very suspicious.”

Saudi government is feeling international pressure

The conservative Muslims not to criticise Alqunun on their Twitter Account.

The Saudi government appears to be rethinking her previous conduct, but, says Ali Adubisi, Director of the Berlin-based human rights organization “European Saudi Organization for Human Rights”. The government had this Time been relatively restrained. “It almost seemed as if the thing was an embarrassment to her. In previous cases, the government had taken a much more decisive. As you had stated regularly that it is not acceptable that young women travelled without an escort. In the meantime, you know that they are being watched by the world media and criticized.”

So the case could be Alqunun to a turning point – and not only on endangered or already in jail at the end of human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia. He could also help activists from other countries in the Region. For example, the case of the footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi attracted comparatively little international attention. This could have been the fact that Saudi Arabia injuries is much stronger in the reputation of serious human rights than the small neighbouring state, presumed to be in the newspaper “The Guardian”. Also the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi had in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul a devastating impact on the reputation of Saudi Arabia.

On this crime Twitter-User even in the case of Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun reference:

“The Saudi government wants to improve its Image”

Apparently, the worldwide reaction to the murder of Khashoggi had made a particular impression on suspected human rights activist Ali Adubisi. “This murder has brought the government considerable embarrassment. Now she wants to improve its international Image.”

International solidarity: Demonstration for the release of Raif neighbours objecting to in Berlin, may 2015

The case Rahaf Mohammed could also have an impact on other human rights activists, writes Sarah Aziza in an interview with DW. “While major actors such as the President of the United States respond to this question. However, a critical mass of writers, activists, and ordinary people keeps the pressure up. This gives reason to hope.”

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun is to escape the draconian penalties, which would have threatened your home is probably. Is open, whether now in Saudi prisons headquarters to the advantage of human rights activists voiced, such as the Blogger and author Raif Badawi, a lot of political, and the political and confessional System in principle, have criticized. Also, for the case Alqunun could be helpful, so Ali Aldubisi. “There is a need, however, sufficiently strong pressure.”

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Escape from forced marriage

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