Personal information

  • Sex: Male
  • Date of birth: 06 Nov 1964
  • Area of activity: Cleric
  • Place of residence: Safwa - Al Qatif

Sheikh Mohammad al-Habib, a cleric from Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, is known for his advocacy in support of the human rights of the minority Shia community, and for publicly criticising the authorities’ discrimination against them.

Arrest and jail information

  • Prison: Al-Mabaheth (General Investigations Directorate), Dammam
  • Date of arrest: 8 July 2016
  • Manner of arrest: He was arrested while he was attempting to cross the boarders from Saudi Arabia to Kuwait

Trial information

  • Charges: Advocacy in defence of the rights of the Shi’a minority, inciting sectarianism and sedition, and alleged support of protests in the Eastern Province.
  • Court: Specialised Criminal Court (SCC)
  • Verdict: Sentenced to seven years imprisonment in 2018 and sentenced to five years imprisonment and a five-year travel ban in 2019
  • Date of verdict: 25 August 2019

Violations

  • Arbitrary arrest/ detention ,
  • Enforced disappearance ,
  • Torture and ill-treatment ,
  • Denied access to healthcare

Violation details

Allegedly held incommunicado and in solitary confinement

Timeline

  • 11 May 2020 - United Nations experts sent an Urgent Appeal to the Saudi authorities expressing serious concern over the judicial harassment and prolonged detention of al-Habib.
  • 25 August 2019 - He was sentenced to further five years imprisonment and a five-year travel ban to follow his release.
  • 30 April 2018 - A second case was brought against him on charges linked to his alleged support of protests in the Eastern Province.
  • 04 January 2018 - He was sentenced to seven years in prison for “inciting sectarianism and sedition,”  which was upheld by the Supreme Court in March 2020.
  • 2017 - He was initially acquitted.
  • 27 October 2016 - He was brought to trial before the Specialised Criminal Court and accused of breaking the terms of a 2012 pledge he had signed with regard to the content of his sermons, in which he criticised discrimination against the Shi’a.
  • 08 July 2016 - He was arrested while he was attempting to cross the boarders from Saudi Arabia to Kuwait and forcibly disappeared for four months.

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