RIYADH (Dispatches) – The UK-based Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) has renewed its call on Saudi Arabia to release Palestinian and Jordanian citizens who have been detained in Saudi prisons for more than twenty months.
Saudi security forces launched an arrest campaign in February 2019, against 68 Palestinians and Jordanians residing in Saudi Arabia and Saudi sponsors and detain them in different prisons, including Al-Ha’ir, Asir, Abha and Dhahaban prisons, AOHR said in a statement on Sunday, Al Masirah TV network reported.
"Some of the detainees remained in solitary confinement,” it added. "The detainees have been held without charges or being brought before the courts. Moreover, they have been deprived of the right to visitations or contacting their families.”
The statement said that over a year after their arrest, the Saudi Public Prosecutor in Riyadh charged many of them with loose charges, most notably affiliating to a terrorist entity, supporting or financing it.
Most of the detainees have been subjected to enforced disappearance, humiliation, torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment for months. They were also deprived of the right to appoint lawyers to defend them during the first court hearing, as the Saudi authorities prevented lawyers from representing them or attending court sessions.
"The detainees were transferred in groups from Jeddah to Riyadh to attend their court sessions before the Specialized Criminal Court, despite the outbreak of the coronavirus and the seriousness of its impact on the lives and health of the detainees, especially the sick and the elderly,” it confirmed.
AOHR confirmed that the trials against Jordanian and Palestinian detainees are of a political nature and are not legally based, while the authorities are attempting to give it a criminal nature to distort their image and justify the violations they were subjected to.
All the detainees are legally residing in Saudi Arabia with valid residency permits and have not committed any violation of Saudi law.
The Saudi authorities rejected all mediation attempts and all calls for the release of the detainees.
AOHR launched a campaign of solidarity with the Palestinian and Jordanian detainees in Saudi Arabia, where it called on all activists, human rights and civil society organizations, journalists and media interested in human rights, to support the campaign by all means in order to form a public opinion calling for the release of the detainees and ensure that they are enabled to all legal and human rights.
AOHR renewed its call on the international community to condemn the grave human rights violations committed by the Saudi authorities, to put an end to it and to press it to immediately release all arbitrary detainees.