Qatari activist Noof Al-Maadeed 'safe and well' in Doha

Qatari activist Noof Al-Maadeed 'safe and well' in Doha
Qatari Activist, Noof Al-Maadeed, has posted on social media on Sunday that she is safe and well, after rumours suggesting she was in danger in October.
3 min read
11 January, 2022
Noof Al-Maadeed reappeared on Twitter on Sunday declaring she is safe and well (Twitter)

Noof Al-Maadeed, a Qatari woman who faced years of alleged family abuse, has resurfaced online, reassuring supporters who became worried for her safety late last year after she had gone incommunicado in October following a period of near-daily online activity.

In a tweet posted late on Sunday from a new account, she said she is safe and receiving care.

“Hello all, I am back on social media on this new account because I lost the password for my old one,” she said in a video posted to Twitter.

"I am safe and healthy and posting this video so I can assure everyone who fought for my safety. Thank you.”

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At the time, the case made local and international headlines when the Beirut-based Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) published a report claiming without evidence that she had been murdered.

A Qatari official speaking to British newspaper The Guardian at the time dismissed the claim, saying she was in good health but unable to speak publicly due to a request for "privacy". 

The now-discredited report and ensuring global recirculation of its contents has caused a backlash in Qatar, which has often been a target of organised disinformation campaigns.

“The fact that so far there hasn’t been much reporting on her being alive in the papers that reported the rumours of her death indicates that they are perhaps  interested in a sensationalist story rather than what appears to be a complex reality,” Marc Owen Jones, an expert on cyber disinformation, told local outlet Doha News.

Al-Maadeed posted almost daily updates to her Twitter account documenting her journey back to Qatar, where she arrived on 30 September after seeking asylum in the UK in 2019. She had said she fled abuse from her family, flying to Britain via Ukraine.  Her reappearance on Sunday prompted messages of relief and support from around the world. “I’m so very happy to see Noof Al Maadeed is released and back online letting the world know she is okay. I’m hoping that this is the start of Qatar ensuring she can live a free independent life respecting her choices about her safety and care,” tweeted Rothna Begum, Senior women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch [HRW].

Saudi activist Lina Al-Hathloul tweeted: ”Thank God for your safety Noof”