In October 2018, the opposition academic Mohsen Al-Awaji was arrested and since then his news has been cut off and his fate remains unknown as he has not been brought before any judicial body and has not been formally charged with anything.
Throughout his career, Dr. Mohsen Al-Awaji was arrested more than five times, since the early nineties, during that period he was subjected to brutal torture and humiliating treatment that made him cry during a T.V. interview after his release from prison, describing the detainees as “a piece of meat at the hands of the butcher” in reference to brutality and interrogators’ violence inside prisons.
Dr. Al-Awaji is one of the Saudi dissidents. He was arrested in 1991, 1994, 2006, and 2013 for signing the statement of Saudi intellectuals signed by more than seven thousand Saudi citizens demanding the return of legitimacy in Egypt and that confirming that he is against the military coup.
He was also summoned for his appearance on the 140 programs presented by Fahd Al-Sunaidi, where he said that the rulers are ready to use everything to consolidate their dictatorship before he was released a few days later.
In 2018, he was arrested for several days for his relationship with the preacher Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali, who is still in detention and suffers from harsh detention conditions and deliberate medical neglect with his children.
Almost three years ago, Al-Awaji was arrested again in October 2018, and no one knows his fate until now, amid increasing fears in human rights circles that he may have been subjected to torture or liquidated, like journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed and dismembered at the hands of a Saudi assassination squad inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul at the same time of Al-Awaji’s arrest.
We hold the Saudi authorities responsible for the safety and life of Dr. Mohsen Al-Awaji, and e call for his immediate release and holding accountable all those responsible for committing any crime against him and to provide proof that he is still alive in a good state.
We call on the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary Detention, the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel treatment to intervene immediately to pressure the Saudi authorities to release the fate of all forcibly disappeared persons and to open transparent and independent investigations into any violations they may have been subjected to.
We call on all human rights defenders, activists, and people of conscience to participate in the blogging campaign under the hashtag (#Where_is_Mohsen_Al-Awaji), which was launched by Saudi activists to pressure the authorities to disclose any information on him.