The Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties (GCRL) submits an urgent appeal to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and to the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression about the case of the Saudi humanitarian aid worker and internet activist Abdulrahman al-Sadhan, who was recently sentenced, by the Saudi Specialized Criminal Court, to 20 years in prison to be followed by a two-decade travel ban for allegedly running an anonymous social media account. He has been forcibly disappeared and arbitrarily detained for 3 years in Al-Ha’ir prison.
The letter from the Geneva Council to Mrs. Lee Tommy (Chairperson – Rapporteur) of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Ms. Irene Khan, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression focused on the conditions of the arrest and imprisonment of Abdulrahman al-Sadhan since March 2018, and the heavy sentence of 20 years in prison.
The letter also evokes the deteriorating human rights situation in Saudi Arabia due to the growing crackdown on the right to freedom of expression under the ruling of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. It also voices our concerns as an independent civil society organization over the fate of al-Sadhan and dozens of prisoners of conscience who are victims of the wave of arrests targeting human rights defenders, writers, and intellectuals in Saudi Arabia in 2018.
Full letter here: