Together for Justice renews calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Saudi political prisoner Mansour Al-Raqiba, 38, after well-informed reports confirmed his serious health deterioration amid very difficult detention conditions.
Mansour Al-Raqiba is a Saudi businessman and social media activist who has millions of followers on Snapchat. He was arrested in mid 2022 after dozens of security forces stormed his family house in Al-Qassim and took him to an unknown detention center before appearing in court.
In September 2022, the Specialised Criminal Court sentenced him to 18 years in jail for allegedly spreading false news, after an unfair trial in which he was denied legal representation.
The Saudi Specialised Criminal Court is concerned with terrorism-related cases, or in other words, political cases related to freedom of speech charges. Thus, the Saudi claims that Al-Raqiba is charged over a false report he submitted against another citizen are absolutely false.
Al-Raqiba sufferes from many health problems, including kidney failure and diabetes mellitus. His difficult detention condition deepened his suffering and caused him depression.
Meanwhile, Saudi authorities continue to ignore his appeals to provide him with the adequate medical care.
In this regard, we reaffirm that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, enshrined in the international human rights laws and treaties. Thus, depriving any citizen from enjoying this right is a clear violation of international laws.
We call on the international community and the UN concerned bodies to intervene urgently to put pressure on the Saudi authorities to release all sick prisoners and to open an investigation into the violations they were subjected to.
We also call for an international intervention to disclose the fate of all those forcibly disappeared in the Kingdom.