Saudi Female Prisoner’s Family Appeals for Her Release
Almost six years have passed since the arrest of the Saudi citizen, Fatima Al Nassif, without charge or trial. Fatima’s only ‘crime’ is being the sister of two imprisoned political prisoners who have been detained for more than a decade and a half.
Fatima was deprived of her family and of taking care of her two little girls, who are in deep need of their mother.
She was arrested in September 2017, leaving her eldest 13-year-old daughter, Shahed, in a very difficult time, and Batool was too young to be aware of what was happening around her.
In one of the distress letters sent by the family to Saudi authorities, Shahed wrote: “My mother had finished her practical application in nursing education in the summer of 2017, the year in which she was arrested. Do you know how she was arrested? Batool and I were with her in the car. Suddenly, a civilian car stopped us, masked men got out, beat my mother out of fear, and dragged her violently out of the car after hitting her face in the window. I still remember the bruises on my mother’s face. Batool wet herself out of fear.
“Suddenly, we lost our mother.” We no longer have a mother. Our grandmother died a year before this incident, out of grief for her two detained sons. Maybe it was good for her to die before her daughter’s arrest.”
Following the arrest, security forces violently raided the family’s house in the Al-Jumaimah neighborhood in Al-Awamiya, and confiscated jewellery and money. Since then, the family has been unable to hire a lawyer to defend their mother.
Fatima Al Nassif is the sister of Mustafa and Majid Al Nassif, who were arrested and still detained more than 12 years ago.
She is the third woman to be detained from Qatif along with the female activists Israa Al-Ghomgham and Naima Al-Matrod.
In detention, Fatima was subjected to physical and psychological torture in the Dammam Investigation Prison.
Fatima is still held behind bars. She was brought before the court in a trial that failed to meet the international minimum standards of a fair trial. However, no court order was issued against her, as she is still arbitrarily detained and deprived of her family.