To bring international attention to the plight of political prisoners in the Middle East, and advocate for their release.
The Freedom Initiative is a leading independent human rights organization based out of Washington D.C. It was founded in 2016 with a specialized focus on political prisoners in the Arab world. We advocate for political prisoners and the issues they represent through advocacy, individual casework, public relations, and legal action. Its aim is to work towards an Arab region that is free of political prisoners and rewards diversity of thought, belief, and orientation.
To be the world’s leading effort for political prisoners in the Middle East. To be a home for the helpless and a voice for the voiceless.
On August 25, 2013, when Mohamed Soltan was arrested in the aftermath of the Rabaa crack-down, a group of his closest friends and family came together to advocate for his release.
For 644 days, this group worked tirelessly to highlight Soltan’s plight and tell his story. Upon his release in May 2015, we decided to continue our efforts to advocate for over 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt.
Since 2015, we have institutionalized our efforts and our work has led to the successful release of over 250 Egyptian political prisoners. Our work has expanded as well, Prior to his assassination, we worked closely with Jamal Khashoggi for the release of political prisoners in Saudi Arabia. He lost his life working to give a voice to the voiceless, and we will continue to honor his legacy by advocating for the release of Saudi’s prisoners of conscience.
We follow a multi-pronged approach to achieving our strategic goals:
At heart, we are advocates.
Building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders and partners in the government, corporate and celebrity worlds.
Joining organizational alliances and coalitions that work in our focus countries.
Building and maintaining the support of the Arab diaspora in the United States that compliment and bolster our mission.
We provide support.
Torture Victim Protection Act
The Alien Tort Statute
Magnitsky Act Sanctions submissions
Our bread and butter .
Through our efforts we have successfully navigated the complexities of the political world in freeing hundreds of prisoners of conscience in the most turmoil-filled region in the world.
We all judge the book by its cover.
Since 2013, we have launched media campaigns that have been featured on outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, Washington Post, and partook in over 400 media interviews.Our media efforts also include providing communications and branding capacity and training to families of detainees. Additionally, we offer overall support with social media campaigns through our network of influencers in both English and Arabic.
Every political issue in the Arab World (fundamental freedoms, minority rights, political participation…etc) has a political prisoner and every political prisoner has a human story.
We firmly believe that when we humanize a political prisoner’s story, we not only help save an innocent life, but we also chip away at the abstract and complex political issues these prisoners represent.
With every individual win, we are shifting the narrative in important power centers about crucial political issues affecting millions of Arabs living under authoritarian regimes. Our intention is to prevent political circumstances that allow for mass unjust detainment of political prisoners in the future.
Fundamental freedoms, democratic values, human rights, and the rule of law are integral building blocks of any vibrant society.
In an Arab World where people, across religions, races, classes, genders and sexual orientations, are properly represented and free to fully participate in the political and cultural life.
In addressing systemic injustices and inequalities carried out by private, political and state actors.
That countering extremism effectively starts with tackling the social and political conditions from which they spring.