We have received news that the health of the Saudi detainee, Mohamed bin Dulaim Al-Qahtani has deteriorated inside his prison in Saudi Arabia due to the harsh conditions of detention suffered by all prisoners of conscience, under a regime that refuses to abide by the standards of treatment of prisoners or respect the basic human rights.
Al-Qahtani was arrested in the fierce campaign launched by the regime against opponents, intellectuals, academics, and preachers in September 2017, and since then he has been detained in inhumane living conditions, despite his health condition and age, as he is over 67 years old, yet the authorities refuse to release him.
Despite his critical health conditions, he was sentenced to five years in prison in 2018, and the sentence stipulated that the execution of the sentence would be suspended after spending half the term, while applying a travel ban for ten years after his release, with a ban on appearing and communicating with the media for a period of 10 years, and the closure of all his accounts on social networking sites.
Half of the term has already passed, and instead of releasing him, the authorities extended his imprisonment and raised his sentence in an arbitrary act to 14 years and 6 months, and banned him from traveling for a similar period, without any clear justification for this arbitrary behavior.
Al-Qahtani began to suffer from a general weakness in the heart muscle, due to deliberate malnutrition and the lack of health care, which means that his continued imprisonment puts his life at serious risk.
Medical negligence is the most famous feature of the Saudi regime in dealing with its detainees, striking all human rights calls to improve conditions of detention or calls to respecting the rights of prisoners.
We affirm that the continuation of the current conditions in Saudi prisons puts all detainees at risk, even the healthy ones, as prisons have become incubator environments for epidemics and diseases, especially in light of the outbreak of the Coronavirus, which the authorities did not deal with in the required manner and did not take the necessary measures to stop its spread inside prisons and detention centers.
We join the voice of dozens of international human rights organizations in their calls on the Saudi authorities to immediately release prisoners of conscience and human rights defenders, and to reveal the whereabouts of the forcibly disappeared, and allow them to contact their families and lawyers.