Saudi authorities refuse to release political prisoner Amer Al-Almai despite completing his prison term

It has now been more than 6 months since the end of the prison sentence of Saudi prisoner of conscience, Doctor Amer Al-Almai, who was serving an arbitrary sentence of four and a half years, which was supposed to end in September 2023. But, the Saudi authorities refuse to release him or provide his family with any information related to the reason behind his continued detention or place of detention.

Al-Almai was detained in March 2019 from his Abha residence as a part of an arbitrary campaign that also targeted academics, opinion leaders, and reformers. For several months, he was taken to an unidentified location; where he was subjected to physical and psychological torture. After a while, he was brought to court on charges that he was not allowed to know about. In September 2021, he was sentenced to an unjust prison sentence of nine and a half years and a fine of 500,000 Saudi riyals. He was later given a sentence reduction of half, but he has not been freed yet.

Al-Almai was subjected to a number of violations during the trial, including deprivation of legal representation, lack of substantial evidence of his guilt, and denial of his right to self-defense.

Amer Al-Almai is an academic, internal medicine specialist, and preacher at the Othman Al-Ghamdi Mosque in Abha. He was well-known for his humanitarian efforts, taking care of the poor and displaced residents of the governorate.

Al-Almai, like all other prisoners of conscience in the Kingdom, is being held in very difficult detention conditions that do not correspond to international standards. He is also subjected to mistreatment and held in solitary confinement. Furthermore, he has been kept in detention despite fully completing his prison sentence.

Together for Justice reaffirms its appeal to the relevant UN authorities and the free people around the world to band together to put pressure on the Saudi authorities to free all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, as well as to launch thorough investigations into the abuses they have endured.

Together for Justice also affirms that these people should not be detained in the first place. In spite of this, the Saudi authorities attempted to legitimize the situation by prosecuting them; however, those trials were farcical plays in which the fundamental requirements of justice were not fulfilled. After ending their sentence, they were held without any legal basis.

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