The Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA)
Calls for a 48-Hour Hunger Strike on Thursday (March 15th)
and Friday (March 16th, 2012) in Solidarity With Its Arbitrarily
Detained Co-Founder Mohammed Saleh al-Bjady, HR Activist
Who Has Been in a Hunger Strike Since February 22nd 2012.
March 7, 2012.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Mohammed Saleh al-Bjady, a leading Saudi human rights activist and co-founder of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), has been arbitrarily detained by the Ministry of Interior (MOI) since March 21st 2011. Mr. al-Bjady was targeted because MOI wanted to silence his voice after he uncovered the unfortunate killing of a Yemeni expatriate, Sultan Abdu al-Doais, who died under torture in the Directorate of General Investigation (DGI) prison in Qassim province (300 km North of Riyadh, the Saudi capital). In addition, Mr. al-Bjady was previously detained in 2007 because he encouraged and supported the families of political prisoners in their attempt to force Saudi authority to adhere to its own promulgated law (the law of the criminal procedures).
ACPRA believes that MOI targeted Mr. al-Bjady because he revealed part of the horror of its detention camps and the systematic torture carried out by MOI secret operatives. MOI agents still mistakingly think that they will never be questioned, let alone held accountable, for egregious crimes they clandestinely commit behind prison walls. However, a time would come where not only these corrupt MOI agents will stand trials, but also their MOI superiors who have given them the green light to arbitrarily detain and torture innocent people.
Despite the utmost secrecy of Saudi prison dungeons and holding detainees in incommunicado, it was brought to ACPRA attention that Mohammed al-Bjady has been on a hunger strike since Wednesday February 22nd 2012, in protest of his illegal arbitrary detention and depriving him of his rights. MOI has taken Mr. al-Bjady to its Specialized Criminal Court (SCC), a court that lacks the minimum standard of fair trials. The presiding SCC judge in Mr. al-Bjady's trial banned his lawyers from attending the hearing and asked Mr. al-Bjady to choose an MOI-approved attorney. Mr. al-Bhady, in return, refused to acknowledge the court. Hence, Mr. al-Bjady's trial has been suspended since December 4th 2011, and he has been illicitly left languished in prison.
Hunger strike is a form of peaceful struggle, which is not only permitted but also supported by Islamic Jurisprudence, because it achieves a moral goal strictly commanded by the purpose of the law, which is maintaining human rights. The other important goal is to drew attention to flagrant injustices inflicted on innocent people in the dark dungeons, such as arbitrary imprisonment, torture, kangaroo trials, and violating prisoners' fundamental rights.
For all of that, ACPRA invites all citizens (males and females), human rights and civil society activists, intellectuals and politicians (in Saudi Arabia or abroad) to take part in a symbolic 48-hour hunger strike. It will be held on Thursday and Friday, March 15-16 2012, to show or support and solidarity with Mohammed Saleh al-Bjady and other political prisoners who are deprived of their rights in Saudi jails.
Finally, ACPRA calls upon all activists and independent journalists to publicize this event, and urge people- inside and outside Saudi prisons- to participate in the hunger strike.
For those who are interested or for further info, please don't hesitate to get in touch with the event coordinators:
Dr. Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani
Fowzan Mohsin al-Harbi
The following are the names of activists who have so far responded to ACPRA invitation and agreed to participate in hunger strike:
1. Ahmad al-Youby
2. Ibrahim al-Muqateeb.
3. Saeed Abdullah al-Shehri
4. Saleh al-Ashwan
5. Saud Ahmed al-Dougather.
6. Sarah Mohammed al-Otibi.
7. Sara al-Youby
8. Somaiya al-Youby
9. Abdulrahman Rady al-Harbi
10. Dr. Abdulrahman Hamid al-Hamid.
11. Abdulrahman Gomam al-Dosairi.
12. Abdulaziz Ahmed Foqaha.
13. Abdulaziz Mohammed al-Johanni.
14. Abdulaziz Yousif al-Shobaili.
15. Professor Abdullah al-Hamid.
16. Abdullah Mohammed al-Said.
17. Abdulmohsin Ali al-Ayashi.
18. Professor Abdulkareem al-Kadar.
19. Omar Mohamed al-Dolame.
20. Omar Mohammed al-Said.
21. Eissa Hamid al-Hamid.
22. Fedda Abdullah al-Nassir.
23. Fowaz Abdullah al-Harbi.
24. Fowzan Mohsin al-Harbi.
25. Dr. Matrook al-Faleh
26. Mansour al-Rshoody
27. Mohammed Abdullah al-Harbi.
28. Dr. Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani.
29. Momedooh sa'aid al-Zaiddi.
30. Noof Abdulaziz.
31. Nadia Hamdan al-Youby
32. Ohood al-Youby
33. Osama al-Youby
34. Yasser Mohammed al-Qafari.
35. Essam Ahmad Mudeer
36. Adel Saeed al-Malky
37. Abdulhameed Gary
38. Ayman Mohammad al-Rashid
39. Dr. Abdullah Sulaiman al-Meqbel
40. Maha Abdulrahman al-Qahtani