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lundi 28 avril 2014

Saudi Arabia: Torture and incommunicado detention of human rights defenders Waleed Abu Al-Kahir and Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Hamed

Prominent 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) has received confirmation that human rights lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair is being subjected to torture and ill-treatment while in detention in Al Hair prison. He was arrested and detained following his appearance before the Special Criminal Court in Riyadh on 15 April 2014 (for further information see GCHR appeal dated 16 April 2014-
According to information received, the human rights activist, and 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.
As part of the on-going crackdown against human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia, on 17 April 2014, 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. When he arrived, accompanied by his son, he was informed that the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution had issued an order for his detention. He currently remains in detention and has not been allowed any communication with his lawyer or family.
On Sunday 20 April 2014 he had signed a petition, 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.
The GCHR expresses serious concern for the health of both Waleed Abu Al-Khair and Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Hamed as they remain in incommunicado detention. It believes that their arrest and detention is solely related to their peaceful and legitimate human rights activities and is an attempt by the authorities to curtail such work.
The GCHR urges the authorities in Saudi Arabia to:
  1. Immediately and unconditionally release and drop all charges against Waleed Abu Al-Khair and Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Hamed;
  2. Guarantee the physical and psychological safety and integrity of Waleed Abu Al-Khair and Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Hamed and grant them immediate access to any medical treatment they require;
  3. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.
The GCHR respectfully reminds you that the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998, recognises the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders, their right to freedom of association and to carry out their activities without fear of reprisals. We would particularly draw your attention to Article 6 (c): “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others: (c) To study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters“, and to Article 12 (2): “The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present declaration.”


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