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After more than 100 days in detention, Zuhair Kutubi is being referred to a terrorist court based on his political views and demands for reforms

زهير-كتبي

Zuhair kutubi

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The Saudi EuropeanOrganization for Human Rights (ESOHR) expresses its deep concern over the Saudi authorities arrest of the writer and journalist Zuhair kutubi and subsequent detention for more than three months, in bad prison conditions, which is having an adverse effect on his health.

Kutubi, 62, was arrested on 15th July 2015, after he called for political reforms, including the adoption of a constitutional monarchy, and anti-religious and political repression in a TV interview.

He was arrested from his home in Mecca, then taken to an unknown location, and transferred to a prison in Jeddah Dhahban for three days. On the 18th July he was then transferred to the Al-Mansour police station for investigation, and he was moved between 4 detention centers in Mecca over the next eight days, amidst degrading treatment, and then finally transferred to Dhahban prison in Jeddah.

ESOHR considers that the writer Zuhair Kutubi was arrested arbitrarily, and is a violation of several international charters and treaties committed to by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which provides for the freedom of individuals, freedom of speech and civil rights.

His case is in violation of the Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or cruel, inhuman punishment, as Kutubi was subjected to being beaten with rifle butts on the back by members of the security forces during his detention and subjected to other degrading treatment.
Currently Kutubi suffers from several medical conditions, including high blood pressure and diabetes, and tumors in the colon which were the effect of surgery as a result of a medical error affected the liver and despite being able to receive drugs to a limited extent in prison, he has not receive adequate medical care despite family attempts to secure this.

The public prosecutors raised several charges against Kutubi, including: abuse of officials and princes, calling for the constitutionality of the rule, seeking to change public opinion. The first court session of the trial of Kutubi will be held on the 4th November 2015 in the Specialized Criminal Courtthat deals with the issues of terrorism. This represents a violation of the conditions of a fair trial, as these courts deal with terrorism cases and Kutubi was merely exercising his right to freedom of expression and this cannot be classified as a form terrorism.

The Saudi EuropeanOrganization for Human Rights confirms that Kutubi is a prisoner of conscience, and that his arrest follows a pattern of abuses practiced by the Saudi authorities against human rights defenders, advocates of reformand those with differing opinions within the kingdom, and in some cases some of these individuals have been sentenced to death.

ESOHR calls upon the Saudi authorities to: 1. Release the writer and journalist Zuhair Kutubiimmediately and without condition. 2. Investigate the detention of kutubi and allegations of torture relating to the beatings he endured while conditions of detention, and to hold accountable those responsible. 3. Full Medical care and health treatment should be secured for Kutubi immediately.

ESOHR also urges the Saudi government to abide by international conventions and local laws that prevent the prosecution of individuals based on their beliefs and their views and exercising their legally guaranteed right of freedom of expression.