Saudi activist Manawer Al-Noub Al-Abdali has been kept in arbitrary detention since his detention during the September 2017 crackdown over freedom of expression charges.
Although Saudi authorities did not deny Al-Abdali’s detention, the situation regarding his legal standing is still unclear. The authorities, however, steadfastly declined to provide more details regarding his charges and conditions of detention.
According to reliable sources, he receives consistently negligent medical care as well as very poor treatment from the prison guards.
Al-Abdali’s last tweet on his Twitter account criticised the Saudi government for keeping Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Tarifi in custody despite a court order to release him.
“Today, one of the Muslim scholars has completed one year and five months in prison despite a court order for his acquittal,” Al-Abdali wrote in the tweet.
Al-Abdali also criticised the crackdown campaign launched by the authorities against a number of preachers and academics, including Sheikh Salman Al-Awda.
We emphasize that in order to create a free and democratic society, achieve sustainable development, and ensure that every individual is given the chance to reach their full potential, freedom of expression is a fundamental and necessary requirement. Any reforms made by the Saudi government are useless if this right is not upheld.
We urge the international community to exert pressure on the Saudi authorities to uphold international human rights norms, such as ensuring that all detainees have access to fair trials and legal counsel.
We also call on the international community to stop cooperating with the Saudi government until it offers concrete and serious assurances that the situation will improve while also keeping a close eye on the situation and holding the Saudi government accountable for any human rights violations.