As we mark the sixth anniversary of the September 2017 arrest campaign launched by the Saudi authorities against dozens of scholars, writers, and preachers, we must remember the detainees who paid a high price defending freedom.
One of those arrested during the crackdown was Sheikh Hamoud bin Ali Al-Amri. He was imprisoned for refusing to normalize relations with the Israeli occupation, which routinely subjected the Palestinian people to the most heinous crimes and violations.
Al-Amri was rounded up in September 2017 without any legal basis or formal charge. He was detained, denied contact with his family or attorney, and prohibited from accessing the indictment file.
Without any supporting evidence, the Specialized Criminal Court sentenced him to nine years in prison in December 2020. Even his right to legal counsel was denied him.
The Saudi regime claims to introduce reforms and changes in society that will move it toward modernity and civilization. However, the unprecedented level of repression that the authorities have carried out confirms that the Kingdom is under complete tyranny. Every change is accompanied by a set of oppressive policies that deprive people of their most fundamental freedoms.
In this regard, we call on the international community to exert pressure on the Saudi authorities to uphold international human rights norms, such as ensuring that all detainees receive fair trials and have access to legal counsel.
We also call on the international community to stop cooperating with the Saudi regime until it offers concrete and serious guarantees to improve the human rights situation and to keep closely monitoring the situation and holding the Saudi government accountable for any human rights violations.