New arrests and prison sentences in Saudi Arabia

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The well-known Saudi reader Abdullah Basfar (Twitter) was arrested.

The “Prisoners of Conscience” account, which is concerned with the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, recently said that it had confirmed that the Saudi authorities had arrested the famous reader Abdullah Basfar since last August, and that academic Saud Al-Fannisan had been arrested since last March, in addition to the issuance of multiple judgments. Imprisonment against those described as “September campaign detainees”.

The account published tweets in which he said: “It is confirmed to us that Dr. Abdullah Basfar has been under arbitrary detention since last August. The doctor is an associate professor in the Department of Sharia and Islamic Studies at King Abdul Aziz University, and the former Secretary General of the World Organization for the Book and Sunnah.”

He added, “We have confirmed the news of the arrest of Dr. Saud Al-Fannisan, a professor at Imam University and former Dean of the College of Sharia in Riyadh. He was arrested at the end of last March.”

The account confirmed that prison sentences were issued against a number of “September campaign” detainees in the relevant criminal court in Riyadh.

The Islamic writer and thinker Abdullah al-Maliki, who wrote a number of books on democracy and Islam, was sentenced to 7 years in prison. Academics Ibrahim al-Harithi and Yusef al-Qasim were sentenced to five years in prison, while academic Khalid al-Ajimi was sentenced to three years and 8 months in prison, and a prison sentence was issued. The academic and journalist Fahd Al-Sunaidi was required to three and a half years, and the academic Ahmed Al-Soyyan was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

The account said, “All the sentences issued against the September detainees are preliminary, and for information, and since these sentences are based on false charges in the first place, these prison sentences may be increased after appeal. The reality is that the authorities give the prosecution time to devise new and invalid charges to be added against the detainee.” .

It is noteworthy that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman carried out a massive campaign of arrests in September 2017, in which hundreds of academics, researchers and clerics belonging to the “Awakening Movement” were arrested, threatening, in public statements, to crush this trend.

Among the most prominent detainees of the “September campaign” is the famous Islamic preacher, Salman Al-Awda, who lives in solitary confinement in poor conditions awaiting his trial, which the authorities deliberately postponed several times, according to his family.

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