Almost six years have passed since the enforced disappearance of the Saudi preacher, Sami Al-Ghaihab, who was detained during the 2017 crackdown campaign launched by the Saudi regime against dozens of writers, preachers, journalists, academics, activists, and human rights defenders.
For almost six years, no news has been revealed over Al-Ghaihab’s fate, amid rumors that he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. The Saudi authorities continue to impose a total blackout over his detention condition and a family visit ban.
Sheikh Sami Al-Ghaihab is the former director of the Anti-Extortion Department of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue, which was dissolved several years ago. In light of his continued enforced disappearance, serious concerns are raised about his safety and detention conditions.
Together for Justice stresses that subjecting detainees to enforced disappearance is a crime against humanity.
According to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, enforced disappearance of persons means the arrest, detention, or abduction of persons by, or with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of, a State or a political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge that deprivation of freedom or to give information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons, with the intention of removing them from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time.
We also stress that enforced disappearance, as a crime against humanity, is not subject to the statute of limitations, and therefore those involved in committing this grave violation are subject to international legal accountability.
Together for Justice calls on the international community to intervene immediately and put pressure on the Saudi regime to clarify the fate of all those forcibly disappeared in Saudi jails, to allow all prisoners of conscience to communicate with their families and lawyers, and to open investigations into any violations they were subjected to.