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Saudi academic Anas Al-Mazrou imprisoned for asking: “Where are the human rights activists?”

“Where are the human rights activists? Where are those who spread the culture of human rights in our country?”… On March 18, 2019, the Saudi scholar Anas Al-Mazrou asked this question during his participation in a cultural symposium held in conjunction with the Riyadh book fair, five years ago. He was later arrested and held behind bars till today, joining dozens of prisoners of conscience whom he was defending their right for freedom.

Only a few days after his participation at the symposium, a Saudi security force raided Al-Mazrou’s home, arrested him, and took him to a police building in the capital, located on the Dammam Road, where he was subjected to severe torture, beatings, and verbal insults. Then, he was transferred to Al-Ha’ir Prison and held in solitary confinement for a long period during which he was deprived of any communication with the outside world. Even hs family was not allowed to contact him or to know his detention conditions.

Anas Al-Marzou is a lecturer at the College of Law at King Saud University. He participated in a number of local human rights activities. In February 2011, following the Arab Spring revolutions, he signed the National Declaration of Reform, a widely circulated political petition in Saudi Arabia.

The adoption of a national constitution and the full election of Saudi Shura Council members were among the political reforms demanded in this document, which was submitted to King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, King of Saudi Arabia at the time, and was signed by dozens of Saudi academics, writers, activists, jurists, media professionals, artists, and dissidents, including Al-Mazrou.

In response to these Saudi violations, Together for Justice is once again urging the international community, civil society organizations, and human rights defenders to take action and demand the immediate release of political prisoners arbitrarily detained in Saudi jails, including scholar Anas Al-Mazrou.

Together for Justice also asserts that permitting autocratic governments, such as the Saudi regime, to solidate their bases will have a detrimental impact not only on Saudi citizens but also on people worldwide, with the events in Yemen serving as an excellent illustration. Therefore, decisive measures must be taken to deter the Saudi regime and put an end to its human rights violations and crimes.

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