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. 

OUR VISION:

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 Europe-based 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. 

Advocacy 

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. 

Nabhan al-Hanshi
Executive Director

Nabhan al-Hanshi, an Omani human rights defender and writer. He established the Omani Center for Human Rights (OCHR) in 2013. He holds a BA in Legal Practice Course (LLB) from the University of South Wales. He was arrested twice in Oman, 2011 and 2012, after which he decided to leave the country in December 2012, where he lived in Lebanon for a year before moving to the United Kingdom in January 2014 and applied for political asylum. He has published five books so far, in addition to publishing many articles in various newspapers and magazines.

Joshua Cooper
Deputy Executive Director

Before joining ALQST, Josh Cooper worked as Membership and Information Officer at the Council for Arab-British Understanding (Caabu), and as a volunteer for Amnesty International’s Gulf team. He has a undergraduate degree in Arabic and Middle East Studies from Exeter University and a masters degree in the Politics of Conflict, Rights and Justice from SOAS University, with his dissertation focusing on human rights in the Gulf.

Lina Alhathloul
Head of Monitoring and Communications

A Saudi activist, Lina holds a master's degree in law from Université Libre de Bruxelles, and is completing a master's degree in cybersecurity. She has worked as a legal advisor to several companies including Ernst & Young and Start Up, and as a Policy Analyst with Access Now. She is a co-author of the book Loujain Dreams of Sunflowers.

Julia Legner
Head of Advocacy

Julia Legner is a political scientist and human rights professional with over six years of work experience providing legal assistance and advocating on behalf of victims of human and labour rights violationsin the MENA region. She holds a BA in Arabic and International Relations from Westminster University and an MA in Middle Eastern Politics from the School of African and Oriental Studies at the University of London.

Abdullah Aljuraywi
Head of Events

A human rights activist. Director of Diwan London Media, an events platform for freedom and justice awareness. Born and raised in Riyadh and lived there until he moved to the United Kingdom in 2019. He has completed more than 6,000 hours of social activism and supervised several conferences and exhibitions.

Omaima Al Najjar
Head of Campaigns

Omaima Al Najjar is a Saudi Arabian human rights activist, blogger, nurse and physician. She was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. In 2006, she joined the Saudi National Guard Health Affair’s College of Nursing in Riyadh where she obtained her BSc degree in Nursing Science . She is currently studying to obtain a postgraduate diploma in Surgery from The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.