The future of Saudi dissidents in Canada after Al-Harbi’s return to Saudi

Saudi dissidents abroad, especially in Canada, are living a hard time after the Saudi authorities managed to attract a member of the opposition and return him to Saudi.

Fear and panic is now felt by the exiled Saudis, who were surprised by the appearance of their colleague Ahmed Abdullah Al-Harbi after a month of disappearance in Saudi Arabia, where he changed his stances from being a dissident to supporting the crown prince.

In January Ahmed Abdullah Al-Harbi went to the Saudi embassy in Ottawa, Canada. Connection with him was lost suspiciously, especially as he banned his friends there on Snapchat and left all the chat groups.

According to prominent activist Omar Abdel Aziz – the most wanted person by the Saudi regime – Al-Harbi contacted him and Omar Al-Zuhairi and told them that he went to the Saudi embassy, ​​saying “when you enter the embassy, ​​you feel as if you are Jamal Khashoggi,” referring to the horror he felt.

The future of Saudi dissidents in Canada after Al-Harbi’s return to Saudi

Al-Harbi told Abdel Aziz that he was subjected to a long interrogation and pressured to disclose names and details of a number of opponents, which Al-Harbi could not evade.

The Washington Post was one of the first newspapers to publish the details of Al-Harbi’s presence in the Saudi embassy, ​​and in the recording of one of the calls with his opposition friend; Al-Harbi said that he had been asked about Abdel Aziz and his work, adding that he felt that his family in Saudi were in great danger.

Al-Harbi told Abdel Aziz that the embassy employees had given him a ticket to Saudi Arabia and took him to the airport, however he told them that he had changed his mind and does not want to return to Saudi, and he ran away from them, then he disappeared for about three weeks.

Since then no news were heard about him, until his friends abroad found a new account on Twitter bearing his name and the picture of the Crown Prince on February 18. The new account did not mention any Saudi dissident or detainees or Jamal Khashoggi, and the first tweets of the new account were about his happiness to return to the homeland with a photo of a plane ticket bearing his name on February 7.

What happened to Al-Harbi is very suspicious, nobody knows exactly where he is and what happened to him, is he really alive and tweeting from Saudi Arabia? Has anything bad happened to him and a story was fabricated to convince everyone that the Saudi regime has nothing to do with what happened to him? What is the fate of Al-Harbi family? Has Al-Harbi really left Canada?

Nobody has answers to these questions, and nothing is clear. The only certain thing is that Saudi dissidents in Canada are in grave danger.

 It is certain that the Saudi regime has had accurate details about their work abroad, their opposition projects, participants, as well as details of opponents who tried to hide their identity from the Saudi regime.

In this context, “Together for Justice” calls on the Canadian authorities to take all necessary measures to protect the Saudi opponents on their lands, and demands that they open an urgent investigation into the case of Ahmed Abdullah Al-Harbi and reveal his fate.

Read More: When would Paris Stop Arming Saudi Arabia in its War on Yemen?

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