Influencer's terrifying last posts before vanishing

·2-min read

Human rights activists are demanding the Qatar government prove activist Noof al-Maadeed is alive after she mysteriously vanished, following warnings posted online telling her followers if she's not on social media, she's dead.

The 23-year-old hasn't been heard from since she posted on Twitter in mid October in a series of tweets saying she wasn't safe.

However, a Qatari official told AFP on Thursday that she is safe and well and had requested privacy, despite not posting online for two months.

 Noof al-Maadeed hasn't been heard from since October 13. Source: Instagram
Noof al-Maadeed hasn't been heard from since October 13. Source: Instagram

Initially fled Qatar two years ago after several attempts to her life

Ms al-Maadeed used her platforms — where she has over 16,000 followers on Twitter and over 11,000 on Instagram—to protest Qatar's guardianship laws, which require adult women to obtain male approval for everyday activities.

The human rights defender initially fled Qatar two years ago after alleged attempts to kill her on several occasions.

She then withdrew her request for asylum in the UK and left the country on September 30 to return to Qatar after she said the Qatari authorities promised to provide her with the necessary protection and respect for her human rights, as per the Gulf Centre for Human Right website.

One of the 23-year-old's final tweets. Source: Twitter
One of the 23-year-old's final tweets. Source: Twitter

She posted a series of tweets in early October claiming her family tried to harm her and hasn't posted on Twitter since October 13 or Instagram since October 6.

In her last tweets, she wrote she's “still not safe” and “a bit more OK” with a thumbs up emoji.

#whereisnoof circulating Twitter

Supporters concerned over her unusual silence have begun using the hashtag #whereisNoof, demanding authorities prove she is alive and well.

GCHR said they had received multiple reports that the Qatari authorities handed al-Maadeed to her family on 13 October.

Ms al-Maadeed returned to Qatar, but hasn't been heard from since October. Source: Twitter
Ms al-Maadeed returned to Qatar, but hasn't been heard from since October. Source: Twitter

Ms al-Maadeed reported receiving more threats to her life after returning to Qatar seeking protection from the authorities, using social media to publicly complain about the lack of help. 

"This has led to frequent alarming reports that she may be detained," the GCHR wrote.

Khalid Ibrahim, the head of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) – which tracks human rights abuses in the Middle East – told The Guardian: "She said that if she is not posting on social media then it means she is dead."

“The Qatari government can easily prove to the international community that she is alive," he said. "They have no proof, and that is of concern for us.”

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