Saudi Arabia: The sons of preacher Salman al-Awda appeal for his visit

Al-Bara Salman Al-Awda, the son of the prominent Saudi preacher Sheikh Salman Al-Awda, appealed in a tweet to allow him and his siblings to visit their imprisoned father in Saudi jails.

According to the tweet, the family have been strictly denied from visiting their father in flagrant violation of the Saudi national law which guarantees family visits to all prisoners regardless their charged or political affiliation.

My father has been detained for five years. He is allowed to receive family visits only a few times and for specific members of the family. He was not able to meet some of his orphaned children for nearly three years, as he was denied any contact since 2019. We have repeatedly tried to contact him, but no avail, the tweet reads.

He pointed out that family visits were at first allowed for all first-degree relatives on a monthly basis.

Sheikh Salman al-Awda was arrested in September 2017, during a large-scale crackdown campaign targeting activists, scholars and academics opponent to Saudi policies.

Since then, al-Awda has been suffering from inhumane detention conditions in violation of international laws and conventions, causing him different life-threatening health problems.

The prominent Muslim scholar has been detained a few hours after posting a tweet calling for Gulf reconciliation, in reference to the decision made by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to cut ties with Qatar in 2017.

May God harmonize between their hearts for the good of their people” the tweet reads in an apparent call for reconciliation between the Gulf countries.

Al-Awda was among the first of dozens of people detained in mid-September as part of a crackdown against what Saudi authorities said were those acting “for the benefit of foreign parties against the security of the kingdom and its interests”.

In this regard, we call on the international community to take urgent action against the Saudi human rights violations and to form an independent team to investigate the violations committed against prisoners of conscience and their families.

Verbal condemnations are not enough. Serious and practical steps must be taken to save Salman al-Awda’s life before it is too late. A democracy atmosphere must be guaranteed.

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