Victims of the Gulf Crisis are Still in Prisons Despite Reconciliation
Recently, social media users shared a photo of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and National Security Adviser in the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed, in a friendly meeting in informal clothes in one of the regions of the Red Sea.
The photo gave many positive indications on ending the Gulf crisis that erupted in 2017, which resulted in Saudi Arabia and the UAE – with the participation of Egypt and Bahrain – imposing an air, land and economic blockade on Qatar, as well as a diplomatic boycott, for which the citizens of those countries paid the price as they got separated from their families or denied access to their education and in some cases many of them, were arrested on charges of defending Qatar or carrying its flag.
At the beginning of this year, the Al-Ula summit was held in Medina, and for the first time since the crisis, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad personally attended, and an agreement was signed between Saudi Arabia and Qatar that was the beginning of announcing the end of the crisis, however, despite the developments in the political, diplomatic and economic arenas and talk about the return of relations in full, the reconciliation advocates are still behind bars deprived of their freedom only for their calls for peace and reconciliation.
Among the public figures who called for reconciliation, was the famous Saudi singer Youssef Al-Mulheim, whose fourth anniversary of his arrest was on Saturday, September 18, for sharing a tweet on 09.09.2017 following the famous call between the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad And the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Salman, in which he said: “A good gesture, and hopefully, things will be resolved in a way that guarantees the interests, security, and stability of countries”.
According to private sources, Al-Mulhim was referred to a secret trial in October 2018, and was charged with several charges, including “communicating with foreign parties in order to stir up strife in the Kingdom.” He is still in detention with complete deprivation of his basic rights as a detainee and a human being.
The “Together for Justice” team calls on the Saudi authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all detainees who were detained for wishing good and reconciliation for the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including Sheikh Salman Al-Awda, whose continued detention increases the risks threatening his life due to medical negligence and deliberate abuse.
We also demand the improvement of the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, the release of all prisoners of conscience and political opponents, and ensuring that they obtain all their rights while opening impartial and transparent investigations into the violations they have been subjected to and referring those responsible to accountability.