Saudi Activist Issa al-Nukheifi Remains in Enforced Disappearance

The Saudi Arabian political detainee and human rights defender Issa Al-Nukhaifi remains in enforced disappearance for the fourth consecutive month after being transferred from Al-Ha’ir prison to an unknown location after he completed his prison sentence.

Issa al-Nukheifi was detained in 2017 and remained in enforced disappearance before being brought to court for allegedly “participating in inciting strife by calling for and coordinating protests and demonstrations”; and “preparing, storing, and sending information that harms public order”.

Al-Nukhaifi’s real charge was linked to his tweets criticising the Saudi war on Yemen and calling for political prisoners’ release.

In 2018, he was sentenced to six years imprisonment followed by six years of travel ban after an unfair trial that did not meet key fair trial standards. He was also banned from using social media.

During his detention, Al-Nukhaifi was subjected to serious human rights violations, where he was held in inhumane conditions during the Corona outbreak, deprived of the adequate medical care.

In mid-October 2022, Al-Nukhaifi launched an open-ended hunger strike in protest against his continued imprisonment beyond his release date.

Instead of releasing him, the Al-Ha’ir prison authorities transferred him to an unknown location, where he remains in enforced disappearance facing Dr. Muhammad Fahd Al-Qahtani’s same fate.

We call on the international community and the UN concerned bodies to intervene urgently to put pressure on the Saudi authorities to disclose the fate of all those forcibly disappeared in the Kingdom and to open an investigation into the violations they were subjected to.

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