Al-Oteibi Hunger Strike
The Saudi detainee Mohamed Al-Oteibi, founder of Union Association for Human Rights, entered his second day of hunger strike in objection to the violations he faces in prison in Saudi, including mistreatment and poor detention conditions.
On Wednesay, January 20, 2021, Al-Oteibi announced entering an open hunger strike following an unfair trial which ordered 14 years imprisonment for him. He also suffers ill-treatment, medical negligence and starvation , giving him very little and poor food, confiscating his personal belongings and blankets in the freezing winter.
Al-Oteibi has been detained several times in the past for his opinions, and the last of which was in May 25, 2017, where the Saudi authorities forcibly returned him from Doha International Airport as he was heading to Oslo, and subjected him to enforced disappearance for a month and a half before presenting him at the court with many charges, most notably, contacting foreign bodies, visiting Qatar and establishing a foundation and announcing it before completing all required papers.
According to sources, Al-Oteibi was transferred to the intelligence police immediately without a legal arrest warrant. He was then transferred to Al-Dammam Prison incommunicado for two weeks, without being able to contavy his family until June 12. During his detention he was denied medical care and was held in solitary confinement for three months.
He was denied the right to contact his lawyer throughout his interrogation period. In addition to this he was severely tortured to admit committing the charges raised against him.
Human rights defenders and activist in Saudi Arabia and abroad had been fully supportive of Al-Oteibi and demanded his freedom, highlighting that he has exhausted all possible ways to negotiate with the authorities in prison to give him a better treatment.
They called everyone to support his case, especially as he is one of the most prominent human rights in Saudi Arabia and one of the first people who called to reform of the regime, restoring rights to the people, opening the public sphere for everyone from all different ideologies.
Together for Justice joins the calls for his release and the release of all prisoners of conscience, while holding the Saudi authorities responsible for the life and safety of the detainees held in Saudi prisons and calling on the authorities to abide by the human rights laws and grant the detainees their rights.
The organisation called on Saudi Arabia to respond immediately to the demands of Al-Oteibi and other detainees on hunger strike to save their lives, especially since their demands are legitimate and guaranteed by all conventions and treaties.
Together for Justice stressed that it is very saddening for the human being to have to starve himself to obtain his most basic rights guaranteed by laws. Freedom is a right, health is a right and living with dignity is a right.
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