The Saudi authorities continue to withhold information regarding the whereabouts of Saudi activist Aya Al-Juhani, who was forcibly disappeared for nearly two years now after completing her prison term.
Aya Al-Juhani was arrested in April 2016 for peacefully using social media. The Saudi Specialized Criminal Court sentenced her to 3 years in prison.
In flagrant violation of international law, Al-Juhani is still being held behind Saudi bars after serving her entire prison term in the middle of 2019.
While in arbitrary detention, she faced new fabricated charges. She later disappeared amid total blackout over her fate.
Al-Juhani has gone through a number of physical and psychological torture sessions since her arrest. She was not allowed to see her family or attorney. Her suffering was made worse by the fact that she spent the entire year in solitary confinement.
Despite Saudi Arabia’s promises of reform, Al-Juhani has endured seven years of humiliation and forced disappearance in violation of international law.
Action must be taken right away to guarantee the protection of human rights in Saudi prisons in response to the increasing phenomenon of enforced disappearances.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court states that the crime of enforced disappearance committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population constitutes a crime against humanity.
Enforced disappearance has frequently been used as a strategy to spread terror within societies. The feeling of insecurity generated by this practice is not limited to the close relatives of the disappeared, but also affects their communities and society as a whole. Thus, the international community must put pressures on the Saudi authorities to disclose the fate of all those who have been forcibly disappeared in the Kingdom.