In a precedent in the record of human rights violations in the whole world, the Saudi government invented a new crime, a pioneering one. The former detainees in Al-Qatif city, received calls from security services demanding them to pay money for the period they spent in prisons since the beginning of their arrest. The required amounts ranged between 10 thousand riyals to half a million Saudi riyals, depending on the length of period of their detention, and the charges that were directed at them at the time of their arrest, for which they were tried and served their sentence, and despite their rejection of all those charges, which they described as politicized.
The news that media outlets and human rights organizations shared from a twitter account of an activist in Al-Qatif. The tweet said that the security services did not impose this money on the released detainees only, but also currently detained ones. the detainees who are still inside Saudi prisons. A large number of the families of the Qatif detainees who are still in detention with calls from the Saudi security services asking them to pay sums of money in exchange for their children staying in Saudi prisons, each according to his prison term and the charges against him.
A large number of the families of Al-Qatif detainees who are still in detention received phone calls from the Saudi security services asking them to pay sums of money in exchange for their sons staying in Saudi prisons, each according to the length of his detention and the charges against him.
The security services informed the families of the detainees, both those who were released and those who are still in detention, that the families who will refrain from paying these sums will have services to their homes cut off until they pay.
Problems erupted between the Saudi authorities and the people of Al-Qatif years ago after its people organized peaceful marches demanding the opening of the political space for them, as the Saudi authorities have been excluding them politically, under the pretext of receiving funds from Iran and Syria to destroy the state of Saudi Arabia, the state of the Sunnis, as claimed by the authorities.
The Saudi authorities used force then to disperse these marches, which resulted in the killing of a number of civilians and the arrest of dozens of protestors and their families, including men and women. In 2017, the Saudi authorities executed four of them, after charging them with terrorism, carrying arms against the government, joining armed groups, and working for an enemy state.
“Together for Justice” organization and other human rights organizations condemn the actions of the Saudi authorities.
“Together for Justice” calls on human rights activists, national and international human rights organizations and associations to advocate for the issues of detainees in Saudi prisons, and to call on governments to pressure the government of KSA to end the injustice practiced against them, in accordance with the law Saudi Arabia follows.