Dozens of Saudi activists and human rights defenders detained in fresh crackdown campaign

Together for Justice expressed deep concern about the fierce arrest campaign waged for weeks against a number of Saudi activists, political opponents, and pro-Palestine activists.

The campaign, regarded as the most intense in almost a year, targeted a number of academics, preachers, activists, attorneys, journalists, and citizens who voiced their support for the people of Gaza during the ongoing Israeli aggression.

Although the authorities continue to refuse any defense team’s request to review the indictment sheet, no formal charges have been filed against these detainees yet. The authorities have not yet released any indictment files against these detainees, according to unidentified sources.

Lawyers Omar Al-Khouli and Tariq Al-Shami, as well as preachers Khaled Al-Kathiri and Abdul-Rahman Al-Suwailem, are among those targeted in the arrest campaign. The authorities also arrested the Yemeni activist Fahd Ramadan in Jeddah City upon his arrival from the Netherlands.

Following the ascension of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) to the Saudi throne in 2017, the Saudi authorities have launched several campaigns of arrests, targeting hundreds of individuals on spurious or nonsensical allegations like owning books or social media posts. As of right now, some of these individuals remain untried. Some received severe prison terms of up to 30 or 40 years, while others might be executed.

The working group on arbitrary detention needs to step in quickly to put pressure on the Saudi government to free all detainees held without charge or trial. We also call on various international bodies to form investigatory committees to ensure that all detainees obtain their rights in Saudi Arabia.

We call on the various international systems to adhere to their moral duty towards human rights and towards the treaties and covenants that they have concluded, and to emphasize providing everything necessary to ensure respect for human rights in the world, by linking any cooperation with the Saudi regime to improving the human rights situation in the country, and allowing citizens to exercise their legitimate right to Free expression and assembly.

We affirm that the continued detention of these activists and academics without trial doubles the gravity of the crime committed against them by the Saudi authorities.

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