calendar Thursday, 2 December 2021 clock
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DOHA: Fears are mounting over the plight of a Qatari activist, Noof Al Maadeed, who has not been heard from for the past few days since returning home earlier this week from London, Middle East Eye reports.

The 21-year-old activist, who left Qatar in late 2019, has been accusing her family of harassment, physical torture and restricting her movement. She requested asylum in the UK, recording her journey in a widely shared TikTok video.

Noof soon withdrew her asylum application in the UK following assurances from the Qatari authorities that her safety will be guaranteed upon return to Qatar, the report adds. 

Noof returned to Qatar from London on 1 October and since then kept her Twitter followers updated on her status, saying that if they did not hear from her she might have been returned to her family, who threatened her when she arrived in Doha.

She tweeted that she had reported the threats to the police. 

But reports said having previously sent out daily updates, Maadeed hasn’t tweeted since 13 October, which has created huge concern about her safety.

Social media users in Qatar and abroad voiced their concerns about Noof’s safety and urged the authorities to trace her. Her case was trending on Twitter.

“We do not know what her current whereabouts are, if she’s safe and if she’s able to communicate with the outside world,” Rothna Begum, senior women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch, told Middle East Eye. 

#WhereisNoof has been trending on Twitter, with Lina Al Hathloul, the Saudi activist and sister of Loujain Al Hathloul among those demanding to know her whereabouts.

“Noof’s case is emblematic to many women, who face violence at the hands of their family or threats to their life,” Begum told MEE. 

Begum called on the Qatari authorities to ensure that Maadeed “is safe from any form of violence, that she is free to live her life as she wishes – and that she is able to access the outside world”. 

In order to leave the country, Maadeed took her father’s phone to complete the necessary exit permit. 

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