MEDIA ADVISORY for Monday, July 11 at 2:30 PM ET

(WASHINGTON)–On Monday, July 11 at 2:30 PM ET, dissidents and human rights defenders from the Middle East and Members of Congress will join the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), Human Rights Watch, PEN America, the Freedom Initiative, Freedom House, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Win Without War, and Human Rights First for a briefing for media ahead of President Biden’s July 15-16 visit to Saudi Arabia to meet with the leaders of the GCC+3.

President Biden has promised to center human rights in his administration, including his pledge to make Saudi Arabia “the pariah that they are” and indicating that Saudi officials “have to be held accountable” for the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi. During this trip, President Biden will meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as well as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa.

In advance of Biden’s trip, prominent human rights defenders with family members unjustly detained will urge President Biden to raise their families’ cases when he meets with the GCC +3 leaders, and they will outline some of the most pressing human rights concerns in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt.


  • Lina al-Hathloul, Saudi human rights defender and sister of women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul (who is under a travel ban in Saudi Arabia)
  • Maryam al-Khawaja, Bahraini human rights defender, former co-director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, and daughter of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja (who was sentenced to life in prison in Bahrain for his pro-democracy work)
  • Sanaa Seif, Egyptian activist and filmmaker, sister of writer Alaa Abd el-Fattah (who is imprisoned in Egypt and has been on hunger strike for 100 days)
  • Jim McGovern (D-MA), co-chair of Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

Supported by:

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Freedom House, the Freedom Initiative, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, PEN America, Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), Win Without War

WHEN: Monday, July 11 at 2:30 PM ET.

WHERE: Hart Senate Office Building, Room 902, 120 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

RSVP: To RSVP, which is required due to current security constraints, please use this form. For questions, please email or call 202-804-4747.