On September 12, 2017, the state security forces in Saudi Arabia arrested the journalist and legal and political researcher Walid Al-Huwairini
Al-Huwairini also led a campaign to call for expanding freedoms in the field of media, while warning of using the media as a commodity, as the media is one of the means to form the collective consciousness of the peoples, therefore it has to be purposeful.
The arrest of Al-Huwairini came as part of a widespread campaign of arrests carried out by the authorities by orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, including scholars, preachers, researchers, academics, journalists, human and women’s rights activists.
The state security forces raided his home, arrested him, and imprisoned in Al-Ha’ir prison in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, after long time of enforced disappearance.
He was also subjected to systematic violations along with other detainees in Saudi prisons.
He was also denied the right to receive visits from his family or to communicate with them, and was denied also the right to appoint a lawyer to defend him. He is currently held in a solitary confinement in al-Ha’ir prison.
Preventing him from attending his father’s funeral
On Saturday, October 20, 2018, Al-Hawerini’s father passed away, and the funeral prayer was held on Sunday in the city of Al-Ahsa, according to Prisoners of Conscience.
Many human rights organisations called on the government to allow him to attend the funeral especially since he has been detained without a charge, or has been tried until now, however the authorities officially announced rejecting their pleas.
As a result, many activists questioned the legal basis on which Al-Huwairini was detained and pro-government individuals replied that he did not take part in the campaign against Qatar!
They also claimed that the reason behind his arrest is him not supporting the changes made by the Crown Prince bin Salman, despite the fact that he did not criticize it either.
Calls for his Release
Several organizations such as “Human Rights Watch”, “Amnesty International”, “ALQST”, and “Together for Justice” have called on Saudi Arabia to immediately release Al-Huwairini as he remains in prison without any of his legal and human rights. They also called for the release of all prisoners of conscience inside Saudi prisons, disclosure of places of detention, and enabling their relatives to visit them and check on them.
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