Friday, April 25, 2014

Concern about arrested Saudi human rights defenders

The Saudi human rights defenders Waleed Abu Al-Khair and Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Hamed are being held in incommunicado detention, and concern is expressed for their health, as the authorities continue to target those who promote and protect human rights, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) reports.
GCHR has received reports that human rights lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair is being subjected to torture in Al Hair prison. Al-Khair was kept in detention following his appearance before the Special Criminal Court in Riyadh on 15 April 2014. GCHR received information that al-Khair, who is the founder and director of the NGO Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (MHRSA),  is being held in solitary confinement and being subjected to torture.
He is being exposed to bright lights to deprive him of sleep and has been denied access to his lawyer and family.
Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Hamed, co-founder of The Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) was summoned to appear before the Office of the Criminal Investigation in Barida on 17 April 2014. Upon his arrival, accompanied by his son, he was informed that the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution had issued an order for his detention. He has not been allowed any communication with his lawyer or family since then. Al-Hamed had signed a petition on 20 April 2014, together with other human rights defenders and activists calling for the Minister of the Interior to be put on trial. The GCHR believes his detention is a result of his signing this petition and his human rights activities more generally. Concerns are expressed for his health particularly as he has recently undergone surgery and is also a diabetic.

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