The Saudi writer and blogger Turki Al-Jasser is still subject to enforced disappearance after his arrest by the Saudi security forces in mysterious circumstances for writing opposing the regime’s policies on Twitter.
Turki Al-Jasser was arrested in March 2018 after the Saudi authorities managed to discover his identity and find out that he is the one who runs the opposition “Kashkol” account on Twitter, which criticizes the government’s performance and calls for change. Since then, he has been completely disconnected from the outside world, and not allowed to communicate with his family except once to inform him that he was alive, but without disclosing the reasons or the place of his arrest.
The authorities also refused to inform the family of a Turkish accusation file, or to allow them to know his news or conditions of detention, and they were not allowed to appoint a lawyer to defend him.
For its part, the “Together for Justice” team expresses its concern about the continued disappearance of Turki Al-Jasser, as there have been many reports and news that he was killed as a result of torture, and although there are no sources confirming this news, several sources confirm that he was subjected to brutal torture during the first period of his arrest, in addition to the ill-treatment and harsh conditions of detention suffered by political detainees in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi authorities were able to discover the identity of “Al-Jasser” through information received from an employee of the Twitter office in Dubai, according to what the British newspaper “Mirror” reported.
According to newspaper reports, Saudi Arabia had recruited spies working for it inside Twitter to leak opponents’ data, and the New York Times revealed, in late October 2017, that Twitter discovered a possible conspiracy to infiltrate users’ accounts at the end of 2015, when Western intelligence officials told her that the Saudis were grooming employees, including Ali Al Zubarah, to spy on dissidents and others.
We call on the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, and the UN bodies against torture and other cruel treatment to form an urgent committee to open an investigation into the circumstances of Turki Al-Jasser’s arrest, to press for his release and to investigate any violations he has been subjected to.
We affirm that the international silence and the cooperation of various regimes with the Saudi regime at all levels encourage it to commit more grave violations that destroy the lives of many and are paid by innocent citizens.