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Saeed Al-Shahrani: A Saudi journalist forcibly disappeared for more than 4 years 

In late 2019, the Saudi authorities arrested the Saudi journalist, Saeed Al-Shahrani, without a warrant. He was taken to an unknown detention facility, and his whereabouts have not been announced yet. Although the true reason for his arrest has not been disclosed by the authorities, all available evidence indicates that his detention stems from his disagreement with some of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s policies.

Saeed Al-Shahrani is a program presenter on Bedaya Channel. 

He was renowned for his audacity in bringing up issues and sharing his thoughts, even when the subject matter was delicate. As a result, he did not conceal his actual thoughts about the Crown Prince’s policies or some of the reform-related actions he took, but this action cost him his freedom and possibly his life, considering that no information has been revealed about his fate since his arrest over four years ago.

The Saudi authorities have not disclosed the reason behind his arrest, nor have they permitted his family to contact him. However, confidential sources have verified that the social media videos he was posting, which were critical of the regime’s policies, precipitated his arrest and subsequent enforced disappearance.

In this regard, Together for Justice confirms that arresting people on freedom of expression charges is a violation of international agreements and conventions and constitutes a clear violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.”

In addition to demanding that the fate of every person who has been forcibly disappeared in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia be cleared, Together for Justice also calls on the international community to take decisive action to put an end to the practice of torture, arbitrary detention, and enforced disappearances. It also demands that those who commit these crimes be held accountable under local or international law.

Together for Justice also calls on the Saudi authorities to stop extrajudicial arrest and summons campaigns, to release all those detained on freedom of expression charges, and to stop persecuting activists and human rights defenders.

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