Abdullah Qabalan Al-Shamrani spends five years of enforced disappearance

More than five years have passed since the arbitrary arrest of Sheikh Abdullah Qabalan Al-Shamrani by the Saudi security forces without a legal basis. His family was also prevented to know his charge or place of detention.

Al-Shamrani was detained in 2019, only a few months before the global coronavirus outbreak. Human rights advocates demanded to decrease the number of prisoners during the epidemic and that all inmates in pre-trial detention be freed. However, the Saudi authorities refused to free prisoners of conscience and imprisoned them in cruel conditions.

As the epidemic came to an end, the authorities refused to reveal the places of detention of a significant number of people arrested that year, including the preacher Abdullah Qabalan Al-Shamrani, who was known to oppose any official Arab normalisation with the Israeli occupation. Some sources speculate that this was the reason behind his arrest, though the official reasons have not yet been made public.

As per the description of the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court for enforced disappearance, Together for Justice affirms that subjecting detainees to enforced disappearance is considered a crime against humanity. Additionally, enforced disappearance occurs when a person is kidnapped or imprisoned by a state or organization, political, or by a third party with the authorization, support, or approval of a state or political organization, and then the victim is refused to acknowledge their whereabouts or fate, with the goal of putting them outside the legal protection net.

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