Together for Justice strongly condemns the continued arbitrary arrest of the Saudi businessman Salem Almuzaini in Saudi jails without any legal basis.
The organisation said that Almuzaini’s sole crime is being the husband of the former top intelligence agent Saad al-Jabri’s daughter, considering his continued arrest as an obvious attempt to intimidate and blackmail the exiled al-Jabri.
Almuzaini was first held at the Ritz-Carlton from September 27, 2017 to January 18, 2018, along with other prominent Saudi officials. He was released only after he was forced to hand over assets.
He eventually agreed to transfer over 400 million Saudi riyals, about $106 million and ownership of Sky Prime Aviation, which Almuzaini headed as CEO, to the Saudi authorities via the Public Investment Fund, directly managed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).
Two years on, he was rearrested on August 24, 2020 by Saudi State Security. Since then, he was forcibly disappeared and denied family visits. He was only allowed to communicate with his family on May 31, 2021.
Almuzaini’s rearrest came only two weeks after Al-Jabri filed a lawsuit against MBS in U.S. federal court, accusing him of sending a hit-squad to Canada in order to kill him soon after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.
His renewed detention came after his brother Majed on June 20, 2020, and the arrest of Al-Jabri’s children, Sarah and Omar, in March 2020. Majed is still held without charge or trial, while Sarah and Omar appeared before a secret court trial.
In written testimonies filed in Canadian, Almuzaini detailed the tough torture, abuse, and inhuman ill-treatment he was subjected to at the hands of Saudi officials during his first arrest.
Almuzaini was subjected to physical and psychological torture and serious human rights violations, including beatings, whippings, forced stress positions, electrocution, and food deprivation. He describes beatings with iron bars and cruel practices, such as a prison guard whipping his genitals each time he walked to the washroom. Almuzaini was also forced to crawl on the floor and bark like a dog.
After his release from detention and before being re-detained, Almuzaini required plastic surgery to fill an indentation in his forehead caused by a strike from an interrogator and his toenails continued to fall off due to repeated blows to his legs and feet.
Almuzaini identified three Saudi officials directly involved in his torture, including Salah Al-Jitaili, Muhammad bin Abdul-Malik Al-Sheikh, and Hindi Al-Suhaimi.
Together for Justice considered the continued International silence towards the Saudi serious human rights violations as a green light to further violations in the Kingdom, which has become a large prison to Saudi opponents.
Together for Justice also calls on the international community to take a firm position against the Saudi human rights violations and collective punishment policy against Saudi opponents, academics, and activists and to press for their immediate release.