We received information from private sources on the deteriorating health of the Saudi detainee Abdullah Al-Hawali, son of the preacher and Islamic thinker Safar Al-Hawali, and that his health is at a critical stage due to the medical negligence he is subjected to in prison in Saudi Arabia, as well as the intransigence of the prison administration and its ongoing abuse of him for his father’s views.
Abdullah Al-Hawali suffers from a special health condition as he lives with one kidney after he donated his kidney to his father several months before his arrest. Therefore, he requires a special diet and health program in clean environmental conditions so that he does not suffer from any complications, however, these conditions are lacking in the notorious Saudi detention facilities.
Abdullah and his brother Abdul Rahman were arrested in July 2018 from a wedding party for one of their relatives in the Al-Baha area. The security forces stormed the party and illegally arrested them.
Hours after their arrest, their father, Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali, was arrested from his home, at Al-Hawala village, southwest Saudi Arabia, along with his son Ibrahim after searching the house, intimidating the family and confiscating their mobile phones and computers without showing any judicial permission, then the family was taken to an unknown location and they remained under enforced disappearance for more than three months.
Al-Hawali family was subjected to a set of violations, starting with humiliating arrest and enforced disappearance, and not being brought before a judicial authority for more than a year, then holding secret court sessions for them without enabling them to meet a lawyer or appoint someone to defend them. They were detained incommunicado and denied family visits or calls.
The authorities did not officially announce the charges against them, but the arrest came after Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali wrote a book entitled “Muslims and Western Civilization” in which he criticized the high costs that the Kingdom spent on the reception ceremony for US President Donald Trump in Riyadh on his first visit to Saudi Arabia.
It is worth noting that Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali also suffers from critical health conditions, a fractured pelvis and he had previously suffered a stroke, in addition to the diseases in his kidneys, due to which his son Abdullah donated one of his kidneys to him.
The violation against Safar Al-Hawali and his sons is a clear form of collective punishment by the Saudi authorities in dealing with opponents and holders of different opinions, where they get harassed, abused, and taken as hostages to pressure their opponents’ families to stop their opposition and abandon their legitimate right to peaceful expression their opinions.
We call on the Saudi authorities to immediately release the family of Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali, as it poses an imminent threat to their lives. We also demand the unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience who have used their right to peaceful opposition for the interest and progress of their country.