Together for Justice Holds Saudi Arabia Responsible for Deported Egyptian Political Dissidents’ Safety

Together for Justice held the Saudi authorities responsible for the lives of the Egyptian dissident Ayman Shahoum and another unidentified citizen after being forcibly deported to Egypt, where they are facing trial for their political activism.

Ayman Shahoum, 61, had been living in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh since 2014 where he taught Arabic at a private school, when in May the authorities called him to report to the police station. Since then, he was held in Saudi jails.

Mahmoud, his son, said Saudi authorities had deported his father along with another Egyptian citizen to Cairo on 20 September. No information has been released over their fate since then.

He further pointed out that his family had suffered a lot as part of the Egyptian collective punishment policy, saying that his father was jailed several times during the era of former president Hosni Mubarak over his political views.

Mahmoud posted a distress appeal on his Facebook account, calling for disclosing his father’s fate, and holding the Saudi authorities responsible for his safety.

“My father, Ayman Shahoum, was deported today from Saudi Arabia to Egypt after 112-day detention in Saudi jails.”

“The Egyptian regime knows no mercy,” Mahmoud wrote.

“A regime of a sole opinion, and [he] who has another differing opinion will be jailed even if he travelled to another country, they will chase him in his exile.”

“I can’t imagine what his feelings are right now. He was confident in his exile and suddenly he was arrested and deported to a country of injustice.”

“My father is forcibly disappeared and we do not know anything about his fate as there is no way of communication.”

Together for Justice stresses that the Saudi authorities are involved along with the Egyptian regime in violating international laws that state no person shall be extradited to another state where they would face a real risk of torture or other forms of ill-treatment or punishment, which is the case of Ayman Shahoum and his colleague.

There were currently more than 65,000 political prisoners in Egyptian jails, including women, elderly and minors. Most of them were subjected to forced disappearance, torture, and other cruel ill-treatment.

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