Due to the ongoing Egyptian triumphant popular revolution, and the preoccupation of international media to follow up the course of its events, ACPRA decided to postpone the hunger strike, which is to be held on Thursday and Friday, February 10 and 11, 2011. Meanwhile, we will continue to collect the names of detainees and the names of those who want to participate in the hunger strike.
ACPRA Calls for A 48-Hour Hunger Strike
to End Arbitrary Detention, Demand Rule of Law, and Show Solidarity with Arbitrary Detention Victims in Saudi Prisons
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
January 19, 2011
In the light of the absence of rule of law, lack of judiciary independence, and the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution failure in carrying out its duties in defending the rights of the accused; arbitrary arrest has become the norm without legal bases. The Ministry of Interior (MOI) has become the judge, jury, and executioner. MOI is adamant in arresting Saudis and expatriates for many years without charging them or putting them on fair court trials. Instead, MOI insisted in holding secret court trials in spite of local and international human rights organizations vociferous objections. In several issued statements, ACPRA shows that secret court trials lack minimum standards of justice where coerced confessions extracted under tortures become admissible in MOI-administered Special Criminal Court (SCC).
MOI’s wide practice of arbitrary arrest illustrates a serious violation of the rights of the accused, where defendants are presumed guilty from the outset without any need to file charges against them and without granting them a chance to defend themselves in fair court trials. Arbitrarily Detained individuals spend long periods of time in incommunicado solitary confinements, deprived of legal representation during the interrogation and trial, and without knowing what the offenses they committed. Saudis and expatriates alike couldn’t escape arbitrary detentions; especially human rights activists, concerned individuals, and those who have feuds with powerful elements in Saudi regime.
Expatriates, too, who come in search of livelihood or to perform a religious duty don’t escape arbitrary arrest. Unfortunately, our country has become a trap for catching opponents of authoritarian regimes, where they spend long years in detention camps, die under tortures, or extradite to those corrupt regimes to face an unknown fate.
Arbitrary detention can be defined as arresting and depriving individuals of their liberty and freedom outside rule of law and contrary to human rights provisions enshrined in international charters and covenants signed by the State.
Arbitrary detention takes several forms, someone is deprived of his rights and liberty when:
• (S)he exercises his/her natural rights as guaranteed by domestic and international laws.
• Without legal bases, a person remains in custody even after serving his sentence as decided by the court.
• After the end of the pre-trial detention (a maximum of six months as described by the Saudi Law of Criminal Procedure, Article 114) without being released or taken to court.
• As a result of a political trial that doesn’t meet fair trial standards, and violates the rights of the accused.
Arbitrary detention victims in Saudi Arabia are usually deprived of their fundamental rights, these rights are guaranteed by the Saudi Law of Criminal Procedure, which include:
1. “No penal punishment shall be imposed on any person except in connection with a forbidden and punishable act, whether under Shari’ah principles or under the statutory laws, and after he has been convicted pursuant to a final judgment rendered after a trial conducted in accordance with Shari’ah principles” (Article 3).
2. “The Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution shall conduct its investigation and prosecution in accordance with its Law and the implementing regulations thereof” (Article 14).
3. “Any accused person shall have the right to seek the assistance of a lawyer or a representative to defend him during the investigation and trial stages” (Article 4). “During the investigation, the accused shall have the right to seek the assistance of a representative or an attorney” (Article 64).
4. “No person shall be arrested, searched, detained, or imprisoned except in cases provided by law. Detention or imprisonment shall be carried out only in the places designated for such purposes and shall be for the period prescribed by the competent authority. An arrested person shall not be subjected to any bodily or moral harm. Similarly, he shall not be subjected to any torture or degrading treatment” (Article 2).
5. “He shall also be advised of the reasons of his detention and shall be entitled to communicate with any person of his choice to inform him of his arrest” (Article 35).”When the accused appears for the first time for an investigation, the Investigator shall take down all his personal information and shall inform him of the offense of which he is charged” (Article 101).
6. “In all cases, the Investigator shall order that the accused may not communicate with any other prisoner or detainee, and that he not be visited by anyone for a period not exceeding sixty days if the interest of the investigation so requires, without prejudice to the right of the accused to communicate with his representative or attorney” (Article 119).
7. “In cases that require detention for a longer period, the matter shall be referred to the Director of the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution to issue an order that the arrest be extended for a period or successive periods none of which shall exceed thirty days and their aggregate shall not exceed six months from the date of arrest of the accused” (Article 114).
8. “The accused shall be directly transferred to the competent court, or be released” (Article 114).
9. The detainee’s visitation rights by his family, friends, and attorney.
Because of absence of legal means to defend the detainees through a due process of the law, ACPRA invites all human rights activists and the families of the victims to go on a 48-hour hunger strike on Thursday and Friday, 10 and 11 of February 2011. This hunger strike shows solidarity with the victims of arbitrary detention who are still languishing in Saudi prisons until this moment. Moreover, this hunger strike is in protest against the violation of rule of law, and to draw domestic and international attentions to the serious violations of the rights of the accused in Saudi MOI’s prisons.
We kindly ask anyone who knows a fellow prisoner or detainee outside rule of law in MOI’s prisons to submit his documented information to ACPRA to add his name and for a follow-up on his legal case. The absence of transparency, independent human rights organizations, and the large number of MOI’s secret prisons which are not subject to inspection by the judiciary, makes it extremely difficult to take account of all Names of arbitrary detention victims.
To add detainees’ names to the list, or to add your name to participate in the 48-hour hunger strike, kindly contact the following coordinators:
1. Mohammad F. Al-Qahtani:
Cellular Phone Number: +966555464345.
2. Abdalmohsen Ali Al-Ayashi:
Cellular Phone Number: +966590590675.
The preliminary list of arbitrarily detained individuals in Saudi prisons that reached ACPRA so far, as follows:
1. Dr. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Abdulkareem.
2. Attorney Dr. Mousa Mohammed Al-Qarni.
3. Former Judge and Attorney Suliman Ibrahim Al-Reshoudi.
4. Professor Abdulrahman Abdullah Al-Shameri.
5. Saifaldin Faisal Alsharif Al-Ghalib.
6. Abdulrahman Bin Sadiq.
7. Professor Saud Hassan Mokhtar Al-Hashemi.
8. Ali Khosifan Al-Qarni.
9. Mansour Salim Al-Othah.
10. Thamer Abdulkareem Al-Kathar.
11. Blogger Munir Baqer Al-Jasas.
12. Mukhlif Dham Al-Shameri.
13. Blogger Mohammed Abdulah Al-Otaibi.
14. Khalid Suliman Al-Omair.
15. Suliman Al-Alwan.
16. Dr. Said Mubarak Al-Zuair.
17. Attorney Sad Said Al-Zuair.
18. Khalid Al-Rashid.
19. Waleed Al-Sinani.
20. Nayef Mohsen Al-Ruwaili.
21. Ali Mohammed Hamed Al-Sanhani Al-Qahtani.
22. Salih Ali Qasim Al-Rashedi.
23. Motasem Waheed Mokhtar.
24. Waleed Al-Omari.
25. Radah AlShareef Al-Moghamsi.
26. Abdullah Al-Rifai.
27. Khalid Al-Abbasi.
28. Fawaz Ghoneim.
29. Dr. Bisher Fahad Al-Bisher.
30. Ali Abdulrahman Al-Faqassi.
31. Bilal Abu Hykal (Lebanese).
32. Shareef Al-Qarawi (French).
33. Hisham Matteri (French).
34. Mohammed Qassim Al-Warafi (Yemeni).
35. Ali Alseed Lakhther Al-Musbahi (Algerian).
36. Mohammed Alim (Bangladeshi).
37. Abdullah Majed Al-Saiyah Al-Neami (Bahraini).
38. Abdullah Zaid Salim Zuhair.
39. Dr. Abdullah Al-Rais.
40. Poet Salih Al-Hewiti.
41. Shlash Ali Abdulrahman Al- Shlash
42. Mohammad Ibrahim Hamad Al-Isa
43. Fahad Saad Falah Al-Qahtani
44. Fahad Homod Al-Harbi
Some human rights activists have already expressed their willingness to participate in the proposed 48-hour hunger strike in solidarity with all arbitrarily detained individuals in Saudi prisons. Their names will be published soon.