ACPRA Condemns MOI's Arrest of Professor Al-Abdulkareem
A Press Release For Immediate Actions
About The Arrest of Professor Mohammed Abdullah Al-Abdulkarim, A Known Human Rights Activist in Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Monday, December 6, 2010.
The Directorate of General Investigation (DGI, the Ministry of Interior) arrested Professor Mohammed Abdullah Al-Abdulkareem in Riyadh at noon on Sunday, December 5 2010. Professor Al-Abdulkareem is a member of the Human Rights Commission (HRC), the editor-in-chief of the Nation Congress Journal, a member of the Arab Organization for Human Rights, and Professor of Jurisprudence, Faculty of Islamic Jurisprudence, Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh.
The arrest came after he's written a bold article: "the crisis of political conflict among the Saudi royal family factions," published on his Facebook page two weeks ago. In his article, Professor Al-Abdulkareem reviewed the succession problem and the mechanism of transfer of power in Saudi Arabia, which raised large-scale local and international responses and reactions.
That article Prompted Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University administration to conduct an investigation, by interrogating Dr. Al-Abdulkareem about the article, a procedure which offended the integrity of this academic institution, which has turned into a mere "another investigation office that belongs to the Ministry of Interior." The university violated basic academic customary laws and regulations, deviating from its academic goals.
ACPRA condemns this disgraceful arrest that adds another black spot to the Ministry of Interior's already bad records, especially in the area of human rights violations. This action taken by MOI against a peaceful figure like Professor Al-Abdulkareem reflects the reality of media freedoms and treatments of intellectuals, activists, and reformers. ACPRA takes this opportunity to affirm its condemnation of the authoritarian police mentality that dominates the Ministry of Interior and its violent practices vis-a'-vis peaceful political reformers and human rights activists.
The stifling of channels of freedom of peaceful expression is responsible for strangulation of the social lung, poisoning the atmosphere, and causing inflation in violent activities in the country. The Saudi security agencies still announce arrests of alleged perpetrators of violence, in a complete absence of procedures guaranteed by international and local law. Therefore, ACPRA puts the full blame on the Ministry of Interior for the increase in violence in Saudi Arabia.
Once again, ACPRA condemns the arrest of Professor Mohammed Al-Abdulkareem, and MOI must adhere to the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law and international human rights conventions, which guarantee access to attorney services, visitations, interrogation by the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution, and ensuring all of his statutory rights. The Saudi authority must stop these abuses that continue to slap the face of the country and its citizens. These awful practices taint our national dignity which should not be violated by any institution, government agency, or individual regardless to positions.
ACPRA demands all local and international human rights organizations, media and human rights activists to take their historical responsibilities in condemning and incriminating all human rights violations by all organs of repressive security agencies. Furthermore, ACPRA renews its call for a public sit-in to demand fundamental rights, and ask the public to participate actively in the event to be held on Thursday, December 23 2010, to stop such practices.
The Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association.