Several days ago, we received news that the Saudi academic, “Osama Al-Hasani” was sentenced to four years in prison after about six months of trial in mysterious circumstances, following his extradition from Morocco last March.
He was subjected to enforced disappearance for a long time before being allowed to communicate with the outside world.
The ruling was issued by the Specialized Criminal Court, which is a court specialized with terrorism cases, specifically in dealing with political opponents and prisoners of conscience, which means that the arrest and extradition of Al-Hassani were primarily politically motivated and not, as the Moroccan authorities claimed, for a civil case related to a business transaction.
After this ruling, it becomes clear that Morocco has violated international laws that criminalize the extradition of any citizen to a state for his political views, especially if his life would be at risk.
According to international human rights reports and reports of various governments, the Saudi regime has a horrific record of human rights, which makes the KSA an unsafe place for rights and freedoms and endangers the lives of those with different opinions and critics.
The Moroccan authorities had handed over the Australian citizen of Saudi origin, “Osama Al-Hasani” to Saudi Arabia on March 13, a month after he was detained and subjected to a sham trial, to be handed over after political pressure, despite the fears for his life, security, and safety, especially in light of the deteriorating human rights situation and the collapse of the judicial system in Saudi Arabia.
It is worth noting that the extradition process came a few days after the Moroccan court agreed to extradite him, without allowing his lawyers, who stressed that he would face a “real risk” of torture and other violations, to appeal the decision.
Al-Hassani’s extradition process was very shocking, as described by Al-Hassani’s international lawyers, who asked the United Nations special rapporteurs to raise the case with the Moroccan authorities, noting that there were “credible fears” that the Saudi government was targeting him for his political views, while holding the Moroccan authorities responsible for any violations he might be exposed to, especially since “his being subjected to torture and ill-treatment in Saudi Arabia upon his extradition was repeatedly raised by the international advisor to Mr. Al-Hasani in his communications with the Australian and Moroccan governments, and in an urgent appeal to the United Nations special rapporteurs”, according to lawyers.
According to informed sources, Al-Hasani tried to defend himself before the Saudi judiciary, which has not officially announced the charges yet, but the judges did not listen or pay any attention to his words, as he confirmed that he was subjected to severe pressure inside the Saudi prison, along with ill and degrading treatment, and was detained in harsh conditions, however, the judges ignored his statements and issued a verdict against him.
We call on the Australian government to intervene urgently to save its citizen Osama Al-Hasani from Saudi prisons, work to release him, ensure his security and safety and obtaining all his rights, and open urgent investigations into any violations he has been subjected to since his detention in Morocco until his sentencing in Saudi Arabia.