Qaṭar: Woman human rights defender Noof Al-Maadeed reportedly murdered

14.12.21

According to reports received by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), woman human rights defender Noof Al-Maadeed was murdered after her return to Qatar from the United Kingdom.

These reports made it clear that Al-Maadeed was kidnapped by members of her family late on the evening of 13 October 2021, after higher authorities ordered the police officers who were accompanying her to remove their protection and hand her over to the family. She had been promised protection before her return to Qatar. According to these reports, members of the family allegedly killed her on the same night.

The reports have not been confirmed by the Qatari government, which continues to maintain a policy of complete silence on this case. Al-Maadeed feared she would be killed, as she mentioned in a video she posted on her Twitter account, in which she said she had survived three failed assassination attempts by her family. Al-Maadeed also mentioned that her father entered the lobby of the hotel she was staying in, despite being one of her main abusers and the reason she ran away from her home. In the same tweet, she wrote: "Sheikh Tamim is the only one who can stop the danger to my life with his own hands."

It seems clear that even the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, was not able to provide the necessary protection to a citizen who did not commit any violations and voluntarily returned to her country based on many promises from the authorities to provide her with full protection.

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 the UK 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 the UK, she submitted an application for political asylum, which she withdrew before her recent return.

For more information about the case, see: https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/2853

On 10 December 2021, which is International Human Rights Day, at the ALQST Annual Conference, GCHR Executive Director Khalid Ibrahim called on the government of Qatar to declare the whereabouts of Al-Maadeed. There has been no response by the authorities to requests for information about her whereabouts.

GCHR calls on all the international mechanisms including the United Nations, to put pressure on the authorities in Qatar to reveal the fate of WHRD Noof Al-Maadeed, and if she has not been killed, to provide proof of life.