940 days have passed since the arrest of Dr. Lina Al-Sharif

It has been 940 days since Saudi doctor and human rights activist Dr. Lina Al-Sharif was arrested on May 26, 2021. She was arrested for posting some tweets defending human rights in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Sharif’s arrest was a part of a campaign by Saudi Arabia in May and June 2021 to apprehend young bloggers and activists, such as Abdul Rahman Al-Sheikh, Asma Al-Subaie, Rina Abdul Aziz, Yasmine Al-Ghofaili, and Najwa Al-Hamid, who peacefully voiced their opinions on the X platform, also known as Twitter.

Al-Sharif is now facing charges based on a notoriously repressive counter-terrorism law, but she has not yet been brought to court.

Some activists, like human rights advocate Mohammed Al-Bajadi, who has been held without charge for four years since his arrest in May 2018, have been held for longer periods of time without being brought before a judge.

In addition to flagrantly violating some local laws, these practices also violate international human rights standards. The Anti-Terrorism Law’s Article 19 overrides the Code of Criminal Procedure’s provision that the public prosecution cannot keep a detainee in custody for longer than six months at a time before releasing them or referring them to legal action.

Meanwhile, some political prisoners who have been brought to court face lengthy trials with no clear end, including preacher Salman Al-Awda and forensic researcher Hassan Farhan Al-Maliki, who have been detained since September 2017.

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