Today, six years have passed since the arrest of the Saudi writer, Mohammed Al-Hudhaif, who received a rigorous prison sentence for exercising his legitimate right to express his political views and opposing some practices of the current regime.
Al-Hudhaif’s suffering began with the question he posted on twitter saying “Is it OK for the UAE to provide protection and become a haven for some of the Saudis in Emirates and employ them to insult the kingdom’s scholars and symbols in obscene street language?”. On March 19, 2016, he was arrested at Riyadh airport after returning from Turkey.
Al-Hudhaif was not allowed to appoint a lawyer or use any of his legal and human rights guaranteed by international law, as well as national laws, and after several secret court sessions, the criminal court sentenced him in May 2018, to a 5-year imprisonment and a travel ban for another 5 years for criticising a friendly country, in reference to the UAE.
After three years of detention, the authorities decided to increase his imprisonment to nine years, and then to 13 years earlier this year.
Mohammed Al-Hudhaif, is a Saudi writer, journalist and novelist known for his reformist activities. He won first place in the Kingdom in high school. He joined King Saud University, Department of Media, majoring in journalism, and obtained a bachelor’s degree with honors in 1983.
Furthermore, he obtained a master’s degree in 1988 from the University of Kansas in the United States of America in media theories and specialised in theories of persuasion and stereotype, and obtained a PhD in 1992 in journalism and public relations from the University of Wales in Britain, and in 1993 he founded a committee for the defense of human rights called the Committee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights.
Al-Hudhaif also worked in the field of television presentation, where he presented a number of programs on Al-Majd Channel and Daleel Channel. He also participated in a number of talk shows in a number of channels such as Al-Resala, Al-Arabiya, Saudi Channel One, and Saudi Channel Two.
He also published dozens of books and short stories, in addition to his work in the academic field for a while.
According to private sources, the arrest of Al-Hudhaif came after the Abu Dhabi government submitted a complaint against him, followed by a fierce campaign of electronic flies on social media sites to defame him and undermine his reputation and call for his arrest.
We strongly condemn all the violations committed against the journalist and writer Al-Hudhaif, and we call on the United Nations to take the necessary measures to put an end to the Saudi regime’s continuing crimes against freedom of opinion and expression, and to hold the regime accountable for the repressive practices it continues to pursue against opponents.