The “Together for Justice” team warned of the injury of the Saudi detainee, Musa Al-Qarni, whose news has been cut off from his family, except that his health is deteriorating and he reached a critical stage due to the ongoing toruture he is subjected to since his arrest more than 14 years ago.
Musa Al-Qarni, the academic dissident, was arrested on February 2, 2007 in the city of Jeddah with a number of his friends. They were accused of disobeying the ruler and plotting to overthrow the regime in what was known as the “resting” case or “Jeddah reformists.” After four years of detention, he was sentenced 20 years in prison.
Musa Al-Qarni was born in Jazan region and holds a PhD in Jurisprudence from the Islamic University. Instead of benefiting from his knowledge and moderate reformist ideas, the Saudi authorities kept him behind bars and did not respect his most basic rights.
Over the course of his continuous detention, Sheikh Musa Al-Qarni was subjected to serious violations and brutal torture, as he spent a large period of his detention in solitary confinement in a small cell without any mattresses, where the temperatures were controlled to further torture and abuse him, and he was denied from sleeping as well.
Like the Israeli prisons; he was tortured by being forced to stand or sit in a certain position for long hours. He was forced to stand on one foot for very long hours.
He was deprived of food, or given poor quality food, in addition to depriving him of medicines, as he suffers from hypertension and diabetes.
On February 3, 2010, the trial of the group began, then the former judge “Sulaiman Al-Rashudi” was released on July 23, 2011, and on November 22, 2011, after 35 sessions, the Specialized Criminal Court ruled that all of them were convicted and imprisoned for a total of 228 years, and the Saudis banned them from traveling after the end of the prison term for the same period and deporting non-Saudis after the end of their term.
The trial that Al-Qarni was subjected to, like other trials held for Saudi dissidents and prisoners of conscience, was highly politicized, and lacked minimum standards of justice. His only crime was that he wanted to peacefully establish democracy in the country.
The case of the “rest cell” – or “Jeddah reformists” – dates back to 2007 when nine people met in the restroom of lawyer Issam Basrawi – including Dr. Saud Al-Hashemi – to discuss the project of establishing a human rights association concerned with spreading human rights awareness, which they called the public Peaceful National Assembly, but the authorities arrested all of them, and charged them for trying to bring political reform and demand the promotion of democratic principles.
Following are the names of the detainees in that unfair trial, along with the sentences handed down against them:
• Saud Mukhtar Al-Hashemi: imprisonment for 30 years and a travel ban for another 30 years, and a fine of two million riyals.
• Abdul Aziz Al-Khuraiji: Imprisonment for 22 years, a travel ban for another 20 years, and a fine of one million riyals.
• Musa Al-Qarni: Imprisonment for 20 years and a ban on travel for another 20.
• Suleiman Al-Rashudi: Imprisonment for 15 years and a travel ban for another 15.
• Abdul Rahman Khan: Imprisonment for 20 years and travel ban for another 20.
• Issam Basrawi: imprisonment for 10 years and a travel ban for another 10.
• Seif El-Din El-Sharif: imprisonment for 10 years and a travel ban for another 10.
• Fahad Al-Qurashi: imprisonment for 10 years and a travel ban for another 10.
• Abdul Rahman Al-Shamiri: imprisonment for 10 years and a travel ban for another 10.