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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Waleed Abu al-Khair


Detained Since: April 15, 2014.

Charges: Inciting public opinion against the government and insulting the country's leaders and judiciary.

Sentence: Fifteen years in prison, a fifteen year travel ban after release, and a fine of 200,000 riyals.

Biography: Waleed Abu al-Khair is a human rights lawyer and founder of the organization Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia.  He was arrested for his human rights activism on April 15, 2014, and has been in prison ever since.  Until his arrest, he was representing Raif Badawi (who is also included in the Defending Freedoms Project).  In fact, al-Khair is Badawi's brother-in-law; he is married to Badawi's sister, Samar, who just gave birth to their first child.  On July 6, 2014, al-Khair was found guilty of "inciting public opinion against the government" and "insulting the country's leaders and judiciary," and sentenced to 15 years in prison, a 15-year travel ban after his release, and fined 200,000 riyals.  On January 15th, 2015, Saudi Arabia’s Court of Appeals denied al-Khair’s petition, upholding the full 15-year sentence

Advocate: Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA)