The United Nations released a report, on Friday, calling on the Saudi authorities to release the prisoners of conscience, Salma Al-Shihab and Noura Al-Qahtani, who were arrested over critical tweets.
The UN report pointed to the ill-treatment and harsh detention conditions that the two women were subjected to, where they were denied their most basic human rights, including family visits or legal representation. The report included shocking details about the violations they were subjected to.
The report also included a shocking response from the Saudi regime, denying the violations the two women were subjected to and stressing that the Saudi judiciary is impartial and independent.
Salma al-Shihab, 34, a Saudi citizen and mother of two, was arrested in 2021 while on holiday in the kingdom after her return from Britain.
In detention, she was held for more than 285 days in solitary confinement and subjected to all forms of psychological and physical torture.
Al-Shihab was sentenced to 34 years in prison, to be followed by a travel ban of the same length.
Al-Shihab and al-Qahtani’s cases are just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, dozens of similar cases are reported in Saudi jails amid a total blackout over their charges, trials, or detention conditions.
We call on the international community to stop supporting and cooperating with the Saudi regime until it improves human rights conditions and releases all prisoners of conscience.
We also affirm that the continued international silence towards these violations is a green light for the Saudi regime to commit further abuses with total impunity.