Detention of human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia

Who we wrote to

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the king of Saudi Arabia.

What’s the issue

In January 2017, Ahmed Al-Musheikhis, co-founder of the Adala Center for Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, was summoned to appear before the police in Qatif without any apparent reason.

Mr Al-Musheikhis was then detained without charge and transferred to the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution in Dammam, where we understand that he remains detained in Dammam General Prison.

In January 2017, Essam Koshak, a human rights defender and computer engineer, was summoned by the Criminal Investigation Department to a police station in Mansour, Mecca, without any apparent reason.

Mr Koshak complied with the summons and was held for questioning. Although he was released the same evening, he was arrested again the following day. We understand that Mr Koshak was detained and remains in Mecca General Prison.

We understand that neither Mr Al-Musheikhis or Mr Koshak have had access to a lawyer while in detention. They’ve not been informed of the reasons for their arrest and detention by relevant authorities.

It’s alleged that these human rights defenders have been detained for their human rights work and for the exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association.

What we asked for

We called on the relevant authorities to:

  • release Mr Al-Musheikhis and Mr Koshak without delay
  • ensure their rights to a fair trial, including access to legal representation
  • make sure that they’re treated in accordance with applicable international standards while in detention

Timeline

5 January 2017 – Mr Al-Musheikhis was summoned to appear before the police in Qatif and was detained without charge

8 January 2017 – Mr Al-Musheikhis was transferred to the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution in Dammam

8 January 2017 – Mr Koshak was summoned by the Criminal Investigation Department to a police station in Mansour, Mecca

9 January 2017 – Mr Koshak was arrested

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