Qaṭar: Where is the woman human rights defender Noof Al-Maadeed?!

19.10.21

On 13 October 2021, 23-year-old woman human rights defender, Noof Al-Maadeed,posted her last two tweets on her Twitter account. The first tweet read, "Hi. Still not safe." In the second tweet that followed, she said, "A bit more ok." Despite this, her whereabouts remain entirely unknown. Furthermore, she has stopped posting on her social media accounts and failed to answer her friends’ phone calls. What is very worrying about her fate is that she posted a tweet on 12 October 2021, in which she stated that she had been subjected to assassination attempts by her family.

On 06 October 2021, Al-Maadeed published a video on her Instagram account in which she explained the details of her return to the capital, Doha, on 30 September 2021. On 04 August 2020, she spoke in a television interview about how, on 26 November 2019, she had escaped from Qatar to Britain via Ukraine due to the violence she faced from her family and the failure of the authorities to provide her with protection. Upon arriving in Britain, she submitted an application for political asylum, which she withdrew before her recent return.

During her stay in Britain, Al-Maadeed presented herself as an advocate for Qatari women’s rights and explained how male guardianship prevents women from working or traveling without a male guardian’s consent, as well as how women victims of domestic violence are left with little protection.

Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) expresses its deep concern over the sudden and continuing disappearance of human rights defender Noof Al-Maadeed and calls on the Qatari government to provide sufficient evidence that confirms her safety and respect for her civil and human rights, including allowing her to leave the country again if she so desires.

The Qatari government should end all forms of oppression, discrimination and violence that are still commonly practiced against women and give women the full opportunity to contribute to building a prosperous future for all members of society in Qatar.