Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Yamani being held with radicals who threatened to kill him

Together for Justice expresses its concerns regarding the nearly two-year news blackout surrounding Dr. Ibrahim Al-Yamani, a Saudi prisoner of conscience who sent distress messages from his detention center claiming to have received death threats.

The organisation holds the Al-Ha’ir prison administration responsible for any harm that may come to Al-Yamani while he is detained, particularly since the administration moved him purposefully to a cell with some extremist prisoners who have repeatedly threatened to kill him. In 2022, the administration chose to move Al-Yamani to that cell in spite of his protests and warnings, and he has not been heard from since.

The Saudi academic and jurist Ibrahim Hayel Al-Yamani was arrested during the September 2017 crackdown campaign, which targeted several scholars, thinkers, academics, dissidents, activists, and some potential opponents of the country’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, during whose reign the suppression of freedom of opinion and expression was more widespread than ever before.

Over his advocacy for societal change and the upholding of democratic values—both of which the Kingdom’s current government opposes—Al-Yamani is currently facing trial on false accusations and fabricated crimes.

Al-Yamani has a master’s degree in jurisprudential principles and a doctorate in criminal legislation. He was a member of the municipal elections appeals committee, a faculty member at Muhammad bin Saud University, a faculty member at Taibah University, and a former mufti at the Prophet’s Mosque.

In September 2018, one year after his arrest, Al-Yamani appeared before a court for the first time. During his questioning, he was physically and mentally abused and coerced into confessing to the accusations leveled against him.

Since then, Al-Yamani has not been allowed to exercise his legal right to self-defense or to designate someone to act on his behalf because all of his sessions, like those of the other detainees in that campaign, have been held in secret without the presence of a neutral oversight body or even his lawyer.

Throughout those sessions, the Public Prosecution insisted on the harshest punishments being meted out to the detainees in these cases, including the execution of numerous of them, all without offering any proof that they had committed any crimes at all or even divulging the specifics of those crimes.

Al-Yamani was subjected to other violations, including being moved to a different cell, where he was threatened with death. He has been subjected to cruel and dehumanizing conditions in detention ever since his arrest. In addition to being subjected to medical negligence that contributed to his health’s decline, he is willfully denied his most fundamental rights, including the ability to leave the cell and communicate with his family.

Private sources stated that Al-Yamani endures cruel torture and severe beatings, which occasionally results in life-threatening injuries like the broken metatarsal that some jailers inflicted on him two years after his arrest.

The treatment of Al-Yamani is obviously against human rights legislation and international treaties. It also clearly contradicts official Saudi statements that advocate for reform, citizen interests, and the abolition of the Middle Ages’ despotism. Consequently, the regime needs to free all opponents and prisoners of conscience right away without conditions if it truly believes that it upholds human rights.

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