Seven years of enforced disappearance: Where is Dr. Malek Al-Ahmad?

The Saudi academic Malek Al-Ahmad was arrested almost seven years ago. Since then, he has been subjected to an enforced disappearance due to his intellectual positions and repeated calls to create a meaningful media free from official flattery, nepotism, and corruption.

Malek Al-Ahmad was taken into custody in September 2017 as part of the Saudi regime’s most severe and arbitrary crackdown against activists, opponents, intellectuals, preachers, businessmen, and reformists, which was launched soon after Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) took office.

Since then, Malik Al-Ahmad’s family and attorney have been kept in the dark about his detention circumstances and are unable to see him or learn about his official charge.

Malek Al-Ahmad is an academic at King Saud University and a member of the International Syndicate of Journalists in Paris. Although he has made significant contributions both locally and internationally in the field of media advancement, the authorities saw his disagreements with the government’s agenda as crimes for which he should be detained.

Together for Justice confirms that arresting people on freedom of speech charges is a violation of international agreements and conventions and constitutes a clear violation of human rights, as Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.”

The rights group further demands that the Saudi government end its campaigns of extrajudicial arrests and summonses, release all detainees held on freedom of speech charge, and stop prosecuting and criminalising peaceful protests.

Together for Justice demands that those responsible for these violations be held accountable before local or international law, and it also calls for disclosing the fate of all those who have been forcibly disappeared in Saudi Arabia. The organisation also calls on the international community to move effectively to end torture, arbitrary detention, and enforced disappearances in the Kingdom.

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