Maha Al-Rafidi: Four years in arbitrary detention for refusing normalization

About 4 years ago, the Saudi authorities arrested journalist Maha Al-Rafidi after she criticized the regime’s double standards policy in dealing with public freedoms and the normalization approach to the Israeli occupation. As part of their arbitrary measures, Saudi authorities arrested her and brought her before an unfair trial, deprived of the most basic human and legal rights.

After 100-day of arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearance, she was brought before the Specialized Criminal Court. Maha Al-Rafidi was tried in a secret trial without legal representation. Months later, she was sentenced to 5 years in prison, with half of it suspended.

In 2022, the Court of Appeal decided to increase the sentence to six years in prison, followed by a 6-year travel ban. The illegal prison sentence came only six months before the end of her first sentence.

Together for Justice renews its call to the relevant authorities in the United Nations and the free people around the world to unite their efforts in order to pressure the Saudi authorities to release all prisoners of conscience and political prisoners and open serious investigations into the violations they have been subjected to.

Although these political prisoners should not be arrested in the first place, the Saudi authorities attempted to legitimize their arbitrary arrest by bringing them to courts that did not respect the minimum standards of fair trial. However, the Saudi authorities did not respect the courts’ rulings and continued to arrest detainees beyond their release dates without any legal basis.

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