Khaled Al-Omair – A Saudi Activist Arrested for Seven Years for Complaining of Torture
In January 2009 and following the organization of a protest against the Zionist bombing of the Gaza Strip, the authorities of Saudi Arabia arrested the Saudi youth Khaled Al-Omair and sentenced him to eight years in prison for illegal gathering and circulating information on internet pages.
Many human rights organizations announced that Khaled Al-Omair had been severely tortured as well as being in detention for six months without investigation.
It is worth noting that this was not the first time where Khaled Al-Omair was arrested, as he had been arrested before in 2005, after his participation in a TV interview.
In 2013, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention expressed its opinion on human rights issues in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and demanded the immediate release of Al-Omair and the prisoners of conscience in the Kingdom, considering that Al-Omair is a member of the reformist movement in Saudi Arabia and that his activity does not breach the law, the constitution or the peaceful work according to the Saudi laws.
Human rights organizations stated that Saudi showed its lack of respect for human rights especially the right to expressing his opinion in a peaceful manner within the framework of the law or being brought before an impartial fair court.
They also highlighted systematic violations at the hands of Saudi authorities against Al-Omair and other activists who were arbitrarily detained.
On October 5, 2016, Al-Omair’s sentence had finished, however, the Saudi authorities insisted on keeping him in detention and released him months later.
On July 1, 2018, the Saudi authorities arrested Al-Omair again for no crime, and since then Al-Omair remains in the prison until now.
On April 25, 2021, the human rights activist Khaled Al-Omair was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment and banned from traveling for 7 years, on charges of his peaceful human rights activities, including launching the hashtag “The people want a new constitution,” and leading a campaign to incite the people against the leadership. The ruling was issued as a preliminary ruling and can be appealed within 30 days.
In a video message on his Twitter page, Al-Omair thanked everyone who stood in solidarity with him and complained against those who tortured him. He presented a horrific picture of what he was subjected to tough marks of torture hoping that the royal court would do him justice, however, he got arrested for this and sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
Together for Justice announces its full solidarity with Al-Omair and calls on the Saudi authorities to release him without prior procedures, drop all charges against him, and enable him to practice his human and legal rights. It also called on the Saudi authorities to respect the freedom of opinion and expression without resorting to imprisonment, torture, and terror.
More: In Solidarity with Jerusalem: Arab and Islamic governments must stop any cooperation with the occupation government