Academic Abdul Aziz Al-Fawzan lost his freedom for sharing a tweet

The Saudi academic and preacher Abdulaziz Al-Fawzan is still paying the price for expressing his opinion in public and criticising the policies of the ruling authority, as he has been in Saudi prisons for more than three years without trial.

Abdulaziz Al-Fawzan was arrested in late July 2018 after he posted tweets criticising the crackdown launched by the authorities against clerics. He faced a fierce campaign of electronic flies, followed by a travel ban and a ban from publishing anything on social media. Two weeks later, private sources announced his arrest.

Al-Fawzan was born in Al-Buraidah in Al-Qassim region in 1963. After graduating, he worked as a professor of comparative jurisprudence and law at the Higher Institute of the Judiciary (the body that specialises in graduating judges for Saudi courts) affiliated with Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University, one of the largest Islamic universities in the country. He also previously worked As a visiting professor at Harvard University, and chairs the Department of Islamic Studies at the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in Washington.

He also held a position on the Council of the Governmental Human Rights Commission and the Saudi Jurisprudence Society, and was a senior consultant in several Islamic banks and investment companies.

However, Al-Fawzan’s scientific position and career did not stop the authorities from arresting him and imprisoning him like hundreds of opponents, academics, activists, journalists and businessmen against whom the authorities have launched a fierce attack since mid-2017.

Until this moment, Abdulaziz Al-Fawzan, who is also one of the most prominent businessmen in the Kingdom, has not received a legal ruling on his ongoing detention since 2018.

We call on the international community to intervene urgently to pressure the Saudi regime to release all prisoners of conscience, ensure that they obtain all their rights, and open investigations into any violations they have been subjected to.

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