Increasing Prison Sentences of Sheikh Safar al-Hawali’s Imprisoned Sons Is Political Decision
Together for Justice strongly condemns the Saudi Court of Appeal’s decision to increase the prison sentences issued against the three sons and brother of Sheikh Safar al-Hawali as illegal.
Well-informed sources said that the Saudi court increased the prison sentence of Abdul Rahman Al-Hawali from 7 years to 17 years, Abdullah Al-Hawali from 6 years to 16 years, and Abdul Rahim Al-Hawali, from 6 years to 15 years, while his brother Saad Allah al-Hawali’s prison sentence was increased from 4 to 14 years.
The first prison terms were issued last summer amid human rights appeals for the unconditional release of Sheikh Safar al-Hawali and his sons, who are suffering difficult health conditions, Sheikh al-Hawali is still held without trial till today.
Dr. Safar al-Hawali was arrested on July 12, 2018, after publishing a book critical of the Saudi policies at home and abroad under the title “Muslims and Western Civilization”. The book slammed the Saudi heavy spending and precious gifts during the US former president Donald Trump’s first visit to the Kingdom.
According to the sources, the first court session was supposed to be held on June 20, 2021. However, it was postponed for a week on the pretext that the judge did not attend the session. The second session was also postponed on the pretext that the detainees did not appear to the court.
Following his arrest, his three sons Ibrahim, Abdul Rahim, Abdullah and Abdul Rahman were arrested without any legal basis and subjected to enforced disappearance for more than three months.
In detention, al-Hawali has witnessed a serious health deterioration, as he starts suffering from many health problems, including kidney failure and pelvic fracture.
The al-Hawali family was subjected to numerous human rights violations, including illegal detention, enforced disappearance, no trial was held for more than a year but a secret trial, and no family or lawyer visits were allowed.
Safar al-Hawali and his sons are clearly subjected to collective punishment policy adopted by the Saudi authorities against opponents in the Kingdom and their families in an attempt to break their critical voices.
The Saudi authorities are imposing a total media blackout on the detention and health conditions of many detainees, amid reports of health deterioration of many of them due to the torture and ill-treatment they are constantly subjected to.
Together for Justice stressed the urgent need for the immediate and unconditional release of Safar al-Hawali and his family and all political detainees arbitrary held in Saudi Jails over their peaceful activism.