Publication date: 21/01/2020

ALQST has re-launched a new and interactive "Prisoners of Conscience" webpage that presents the profiles of scores of prisoners of conscience arbitrarily detained in Saudi Arabia. 

The page presents a visual guide of at least 170 peaceful critics and civil society members, including human rights activists, academics and journalists, who have been arbitrarily detained by the Saudi Arabian authorities in recent years for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression, association or assembly. 

The interactive website shows the current status of these individuals, including those in prison and those released, which prisons in Saudi Arabia they are being held in, and their profession, highlighting the wide-ranging groups of people that have been targeted.  The profiles reveal the multitude of human rights violations the individuals have been subjected to by the Saudi authorities, including arbitrary arrest, a lack of due process rights, long-term detention without trial, torture and ill-treatment, and facing vaguely-worded charges and long-term prison sentences under repressive laws.

Many of those profiled are prominent individuals known for their public stances calling for human rights and political reform in Saudi Arabia, including the “Jeddah Reformers”, members of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), well-known clerics and academics and leading women’s rights activists.

“We hope that this page, which is still not complete, will serve as a useful reference for activists, NGOs and the media”, said ALQST Director Yahya Assiri

“ALQST has been closely monitoring human rights violations by the authorities in Saudi Arabia since our establishment in 2014. Never has the situation been so dire, and never have victim’s families been so afraid to contact us because of threats from the authorities.

 We invite family members and friends of victims to share any information they can by using the anonymous “contribute” feature.” 

ALQST calls on the Saudi authorities to end the harassment, prosecution and conviction of anyone for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association or assembly. ALQST calls on the Saudi authorities to release, immediately and unconditionally, all persons imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of these rights. 

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