Saudi Arabia: persecution of human rights defenders continues as usual

April 25, 2014

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reported two more cases of persecution of human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia. On 17 April 2014, the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh sentenced human rights defender Mr Fadel Al-Manasef to 15 years’ imprisonment, issued a travel ban against him for 15 years and fined him €19,300. Fadel Al-Manasef is a writer and blogger, and a founding member of Al Adalah Center for Human Rights, a Saudi Arabian NGO that documents and monitors human rights violations and provides supports to victims. He has been in detention since his arrest on 2 October 2011.

[In the same hearing, the judge dismissed two more cases against the human rights defender dating from 2009 and 2013. During the trial, Fadel Al-Manasef declared to the court that he had been subjected to torture and other forms of ill treatment during interrogations, however the court failed to address the allegations.] For more information: <https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/16118> .

On 15 April 2014, human rights defender Mr Waleed Abu Al-Khair was arbitrarily detained, while at the premises of the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh. The human rights defender was attending the fifth session of an ongoing trial against him at that court. Neither  Waleed Abu Al-Khair’s family nor his lawyer have been informed of the reasons for the arrest. Waleed Abu Al-Khair is a lawyer and head of the Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia.  The  application to register the organisation as a human rights NGO was rejected.

[29 October 2013, the human rights defender was sentenced to 3 months in prison by a Jeddah court on charges including “organising illegal gatherings” and “insulting the judiciary”. Waleed Abu Al-Khair had been waiting to be informed of when the sentence would be carried out. In addition, in Riyadh, the human rights defender faces charges including: “striving to overthrow the state and the authority of the King”; “criticizing and insulting the judiciary”; “assembling international organizations against the Kingdom”; “creating and supervising an unlicensed organization, and contributing to the establishment of another”; and, “preparing and storing information that will affect public security”. see:  <https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/25289> ]

 

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