Nisha Rathode

Sultan al Khalaifi

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
Nationality  Qatari
Known for  2011 detention
Name  Sultan al-Khalaifi

Occupation  blogger, human rights activist

Sultan al-Khalaifi (Arabic: سلطان الخليفي‎‎) is a Qatari blogger and the founder of a human rights organization. In March 2011, he was arrested and detained without charges for a month.



He served as the secretary-general of Geneva-based human rights organization Alkarama until early 2010, when he left to establish his own human rights organization in Qatar.

March 2011 arrest and detention

On 2 March 2011, he was arrested by plainclothes security officials while leaving his parents' home. Al-Khalaifi's own home was then searched. Al-Khalaifi's wife stated she was told by one of the officers that they had come at the orders of the Attorney General, but that the officers presented no warrant.

Al Jazeera noted that Al-Khalaifi's last blog post prior to his arrest had criticized censorship in Qatar. His lawyer stated that he was detained "just for expressing his own opinion, it must be, because [he] was detained three, four, or ten times already by special security and he's still insisting in his own opinion". The Qatari government declined to comment. Al-Khalaifi was released with charge in April.


Amnesty International criticized the arrest, calling for al-Khalaifi to have access to his lawyer and family and be guaranteed a fair trial and protection against torture. Front Line described his arrest as "directly related to his legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights" and called for his release; Index on Censorship also described him as an imprisoned "human rights activist". Freedom House discussed the incident in its 2012 Freedom in the World report alleging state censorship in Qatar, and Reporters Without Borders included al-Khalaifi on its list of imprisoned netizens.

US conservative watchdog Accuracy in Media later criticized the reporting of the Qatar-owned network Al Jazeera on the al-Khalaifi case, for an article which concluded "The Qatari government could not be contacted for comment". A spokesman asked, "How could they not get comment from the very regime that owns them? That just doesn't make any sense."


Sultan al-Khalaifi Wikipedia

Similar Topics
Alex in Wonderland
Leon Bignell
Joanna Monro