Morocco: call for the release of Saudi academic amid concerns over his deportation to Saudi Arabia


GENEVA – The Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties  (GCRL) condemns the arrest of Saudi Dr. Osama Al-Hassani, who holds Australian citizenship, by the Moroccan authorities and expresses its grave concern that he is most likely to be deported to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Osama Al-Hassani was reportedly arrested around three weeks ago by the Moroccan authorities under the request of Saudi Arabia.
He was arrested although his entry was with an Australian passport, the Australian embassy in Rabat intervened to release him, but in vain to date.
Dr. Al-Hasani is a prominent figure. He is a merchant, a Quran reciter, and a former professor at King Abdulaziz University([in Jeddah), and he has been resident in the UK for the last few years.
The Moroccan authorities will put Dr. Osama Al-Hasani to trial on 3 March, then he is likely to be deported to Saudi Arabia.
GCRL condemns the arrest of Al-Hasani and considers it as arbitrary detention without any legal justification that merely succumbs to the request of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in the context of political persecution for the practice of freedom of expression.
The Geneva Council also demands the immediate release of Al-Hasani and voices grave concern over his extradition to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which could expose him to great risks, given the kingdom’s black record of human rights violations.
If deported, Al-Hassani would face a real risk of being subjected to serious violations, including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture, unfair trial, the threat to his life in a country where political opponents are being sentenced to death under unfair laws to suppress opponents.

The Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties urges the Australian government to seriously intervene to end the arbitrary detention of Al-Hasani, prevent his deportation to Saudi Arabia, and ensure his release and transfer to a place where he can be safe.

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