Cornelia Goethe Centrum

Samar Badawi

Samar Badawi (International Women of Courage Award, 2012)

Samar Mohammad Badawi (born 28 June 1981) is a Saudi Arabian human rights activist. She and her father filed court cases against each other. Badawi’s father accused her of disobedience under the Saudi Arabian male guardianship system and she charged her father with adhl—“making it hard or impossible for a person, especially a woman, to have what she wants, or what’s rightfully hers; e.g, her right to marry“ according to Islamic jurisprudence[clarification needed]—for refusing to allow her to marry. After Badawi missed several trial dates relating to the charge, an arrest warrant was issued for her, and Badawi was imprisoned on 4 April 2010. In July 2010, Jeddah General Court ruled in Samar Badawi’s favor, and she was released on 25 October 2010, and her guardianship was transferred to an uncle. There had been a local and international support campaign for her release. The Saudi NGO Human Rights First Society described Badawi’s imprisonment as „outrageous illegal detention“

Badawi filed a Grievances Board lawsuit against the Ministry of Municipal and Rural affairs for the rejection of her registration for the 2011 municipal elections. She participated in the 2011–2012 women driving campaign by driving regularly since June 2011 and helping women drivers with police and court procedures. In November 2011, she and Manal al-Sharif filed charges in the Grievances Board against the Saudi Arabian General Directorate of Traffic for rejecting their applications for drivers‘ licences. On 8 March 2012, Badawi was given an award by the United States Department of State for her contributions to women’s rights.

In 2018, she was arrested by the Saudi authorities again. Canada’s request for her immediate release sparked a major diplomatic dispute between Canada and Saudi Arabia.

As of November, 2018, she is apparently being held in the Dhahban Central Prison.