Mona Al-Bayali: Forcibly Disappeared for Three Years
The Saudi detainee, Mona Al-Bayali, is close to completing her third year under enforced disappearance, and her news is completely cut off, with the authorities’ intransigence in revealing her fate or disclosing any information regarding the reasons and place of her arrest.
According to informed sources, the Saudi security forces arrested Saudi citizen Mona Al-Bayali – a teacher in a public school – in September 2018, and since then she has been among the forcibly disappeared, as she has not been formally charged, nor allowed to communicate with the family or lawyer.
The Saudi authorities have not yet brought any official charges against Al-Bayali, but she was arrested for sharing tweets in which she expressed her opinion on some social and economic matters in the country, although the tweets had no political character.
This confirms that expressing opinions in Saudi Arabia is forbidden.
Al-Bayali’s arrest came a few months after the May 2018 campaign, which targeted a number of activists of women’s rights who demanded a decent life for them, equal work opportunities, and freedom on the social level.
The Saudi authorities accuse the women detainees of communicating with foreign parties, and working to harm the country and damage its reputation, however, what these detainees who face unfair arrests and the humiliating treatment in Saudi prisons, including psychological and physical harm, is what harm the reputation of the Kingdom, which is currently classified as one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists and opinion-holders, for its appalling record of human right violations.
We call on the Saudi authorities to reveal the fate of the detainee Mona Al-Bayali and immediately and unconditionally release her with the rest of the prisoners of conscience.
We also warn that the continuation of these violations will preserve the Kingdom’s position among the tyrannical, dictatorial kingdoms that pose a threat to freedom of opinion and expression.
We also call on the governments’ countries of the world to stop any security, economic and cultural cooperation with the Saudi regime until the latter provides guarantees for respecting human rights and creating a democratic climate that respects freedom of opinion and expression and allows opponents to express their opposing and critical opinions without threatening them with security prosecutions and family abuse.