The Fourth Press Release
On the Court Proceedings of
the Lawsuit Filed by the Legal Defense Team of, the Arbitrarily Incarcerated Former Judge and Attorney, Suliman Ibrahim Al-Reshoudi, A Leading Human Right Activist and One of the Founders of the First Human Rights Organization in the Country (i.e., CDLR in 1993), Brought Against the Ministry of Interior Before the Fifth Administrative Circuit Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Date: Saturday, August 7, 2010.
(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
Further to our third press release published on June 17, 2010 about the proceedings of the case of the arbitrary arrest of several reform advocates on February 2, 2007 in the city of Jeddah, including our client, Sheikh Sulaiman Ibrahim Al-Reshoudi. A lawsuit has been filed on our client's behalf against the Ministry of Interior (MOI)-Directorate of General Investigations (DGI)- before the fifth administrative circuit court in Riyadh on Sunday, August 16, 2009. The defense team would like to explain to those concerned the proceedings of the seventh court session, held on Saturday, August 7, 2010. In that court hearing, the defense team presented two documents, while the representative of the MOI (DGI) did not attend the court hearing.
The following points shed some light on the course of the trial:
First: The defense team has called upon human rights activists and concerned citizens to attend the trial in conformity with the principle of transparency and ensuring justice. However, the security forces' reaction were clear, where heavy police presence was noticed around the Riyadh Grievances court building at 9 AM. This significant police forces were extensive. There has been a large number of security patrols, traffic-police cruisers, a group of anti-riot forces are seen close by the Court, a police bus full of security personals, and several unmarked cars full of security policemen in civilian clothes. Furthermore, a number of police cruisers are seen orbiting the court surrounding streets.
This is an obvious attempt to intimidate the people and scare them of attending the Court, which reflects the police-state mentalities who are delusional in their believe that he could terrorize people by heavy police presence. They may have forgotten that the people have already broken the fear barriers, when they learned the need to defend their rights, and the importance of defending the oppressed.
Second: A representative of Front Line Organization, which active in the defense of human rights defenders, attended the court to monitor the trial. Furthermore, a representative of Human Rights First Society was in court. Several members of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) attended the trial as well as a group of human rights activists. We express our deepest appreciations to those who answer our call, and we thank those who had to take long-distance trips to Riyadh to attend the trial,
It was noted the absence of any representative from both Human Rights Society and the Human Rights Commission in the court hearing.
We also extend our sincere thanks to all those who have declared their sympathy with the defense team, and contacted the defense team to follow up the case. We call upon all human rights activists to attend the eighth court hearing to be held on Saturday, August 28, 2010, at 1:00 PM, especially that the presiding judge has promised a bigger court hall to accommodate all attendants.
Third: The defendant's attorney (the Ministry of the Interior) did not attend the seventh court hearing. The trial began at 9 AM, when the defense team and a large group of human rights activists entered the courtroom, the judge questioned the reasons for their presence in his courtroom. The defense team then reminded the judge that trials must be public, as articulated in Article (155) in the Saudi Criminal Procedure Law, which states: " Court hearings shall be public. The court may exceptionally consider the action or any part thereof in closed hearings, or may prohibit certain classes of people from attending those hearings for security reasons, or maintenance of public morality, if it is deemed necessary for determining the truth." Thus, the Judge allowed the presence of the activists in the courtroom. The defense team then renewed their demand to the judge that there will be even more people attending the next court hearing.
Fourth: Judge Reshoudi's defense team handed the court an Arabic-translated copy of the Working Group of the Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) opinion, which decided that the arrest of Judge Suliman Al-Reshoudi and his colleagues is arbitrary and in accordance with international standards (Opinion No. 27/2007 on November 28, 2007).
Fifth: The defense team provided the court the power of attorney for lawyer AbdulAziz Abdulmohsin Al-Turki, who has kindly agreed to join the Reshoudi's defense team.
Sixth: The representative of the Directorate of General Investigations( the Ministry of Interior) was absent for the second consecutive times, and for the third time since the beginning of the trial. He clearly failed to respond to the defense team's legal memoranda, and obviously couldn't bring about charges against Judge Suliman Reshoudi,. Hence, the presiding judge employed Article eighteen of the pleadings and proceedings before the Court of Grievances. The members of the Judicial Committee have decided to adjourn the meeting for study and meditation to reach the verdict. The defense team then asked the court to release Judge Rashudi immediately following precedents in similar cases, but the judiciary has insisted on its decision to postpone the ruling until the next court hearing.
Seventh: The presiding judge allowed the audience to express their views and comments, some of the attendants spoke of the injustice done to prisoners, and the disregard for the judiciary by the representative of the MOI, who ignored the court meetings and don't respect judicial decisions.
As the defense team announces the court proceedings of this case to the public, repeats their hopes for the following from judges, activists, and media outlets:
I: We urge the Administrative (Grievances) court to take its historic stand to be added to its already known accomplishments in supporting the oppressed and, protecting the rights, and fighting the injustice. These systematic violations of fundamental principles of human rights by MOI in a form that unimaginable by any conscious mind. These flagrant human rights abuses must be rejected by men who are consciously aware, and we hope that court judges to be just and not to turn a blind eye on these blatant human rights violations. Otherwise, the widespread of this kind of abuses by the authorities will lead to many tragedies and misfortunes, the last of which is the Jeddah flood disaster which killed thousands of innocent soles and destroyed tens of billions worth of properties.
II: We call upon all human rights activists, advocates of reform and change, media outlets, local human rights associations, and international human rights organizations to stand in support of the oppressed and defending their rights. All of us must stand against these systematic infringements on the rights of the detainees, whose families are devastated, and those who are kept without reason behind prisons bars with no one to defend them vis-à-vis these abuses and to represent them in court.
III: Since the court accepted and agreed to apply Article (155) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which states that court trials must be public. We expect the presence of rights activists and media personals.
IV: The next court meeting will be on Saturday August 28, 2010 at 1:00 PM, in the Fifth Administrative Circuit Court at the sixth floor at the Board of Grievances (Administrative Court) in Riyadh. A detailed call for action will be posted later on in our website, www.acpra8.org (www.ksarights.org from outside Saudi Arabia).
The defense team for the imprisoned human rights activist, Judge Suliman Ibrahim Al-Reshoudi:
1. Attorney Abdulaziz Mohammed Al-Wahabi, Mobile:+966555188867, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Mohammad Fahad Al-Qahtani, mobile :+966555464345, email : email@example.com.
3. Fahd Abdulaziz Al-Orani, mobile :+966502566678, email : firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Fowzan Mohsen Al-Harbi, mobile:+966501916774, email: email@example.com.
5. Attorney Dr. Abdulaziz Abdulmohsin Al-Turky.