WHO WE ARE:
ALQST for Human Rights is an independent NGO established in 2014 by Saudi Arabian human rights defender Yahya Assiri for the purpose of defending and promoting human rights in Saudi Arabia. ‘Al-qist’ means ‘justice’ in Arabic, and a passion for justice lies at the heart of all our work. We take a consistent human rights-based approach based on international human rights law and international standards, and defend fundamental rights for all without any distinction of race, colour, sex, language, religion or national or social origin. We conduct on-the-ground research, engage in international legal and public advocacy, and campaign on behalf of victims of human rights abuses.
We strive for a Saudi Arabia where human rights are respected by all; where all enjoy the right to freely and peacefully express their opinions; where all benefit from transparency and legal due process guarantees; where prisoners are at all times treated humanely and their rights upheld by the judiciary; where the rights of religious minorities, migrant workers and stateless persons are recognised and upheld; and where women are empowered to take an active and equal part in society.
HOW WE WORK:
Monitoring & Documentation
While civil society in Saudi Arabia has largely been silenced, and individuals communicating with the outside world are at high risk of reprisals, we maintain an extensive network of sources within Saudi Arabia that enables us to closely monitor human rights violations on the ground and bring them to the attention of the international community. Our team analyses the information and disseminates it widely by sharing breaking news, writing urgent statements, and researching and publishing larger reports, including our Annual Report. Being a principal source for human rights information relating to Saudi Arabia, ALQST plays a pivotal role in helping to inform other civil society actors, political and business stakeholders, the media and the wider public.
We raise individual cases as well as patterns and new trends of human rights violations with various international, regional and national bodies, including the UN human rights system, EU institutions and the British parliament, as well as individual stakeholders such as diplomats and companies doing business with Saudi Arabia. ALQST’s advocacy and lobbying activities are aimed at encouraging key decision makers to develop policy positions that will increase pressure on the authorities in Saudi Arabia to improve the human rights situation on the ground.
Campaigning & Awareness Raising
ALQST conducts global campaigns via social media activity as well as online materials and in-person protests to raise awareness about human rights violations inside Saudi Arabia. ALQST also regularly participates in UN Human Rights Council sessions as well as holding public events, including an annual conference that brings together a wide range of experts on Saudi Arabia to discuss the various human rights concerns in the country. ALQST maintains an active presence in the media, giving interviews and quotes to the press, and its work is regularly quoted in major international outlets.