Home » Reports » Saudi has begun targeting dissidents families: Arbitrary detention of elderly mother Aida al-Ghamidi because of her son’s political activity

Saudi has begun targeting dissidents families: Arbitrary detention of elderly mother Aida al-Ghamidi because of her son’s political activity

Mr. Abdullah Al Ghamidi

لقراءته بالعربية اضغط هنا

Unprecedentedly, Saudi government detained a political activist’s mother, on March 26, 2018. The arrested the political refugee’s mother Abdullah Al Ghamidi who is currently living in Britain, came after the Saudi Arabia forces raided her house in Jeddah city. Abdullah’s mother, Mrs. Aida Al Ghamidi, an elderly woman, was detained with her son from their house without a judicial order and took them to an unknown place.

At the sometime, and in an expansion targeting of Al Ghamidi’s family, the Saudi government also raided his brother’s house, Sultan who is living in Dammam city. Sultan was detained by the security forces member who wearing civilian clothes, and took him to an unknown place as well.

Moreover, the political activist Abdullah al-Ghamdi issued a statement after the detention of his family, noting that the reason for the detention of his mother is because he gave her a small amount of money which does not exceed her normal needs as a gift.

ESOHR confirms that what Aida al-Ghamdi and her two sons, Adil and Sultan have experienced is arbitrary, includes many violations of Saudi and international laws.

The Saudi government use to prohibit victims from most of their important and necessary legal rights, and terrorize them through threating and torturing. Furthermore, the government investigates them without a lawyer, and sometimes investigations take place under torture. Also it forces the victims to agree on charges and ratifying it before the judge. Prior to all this and before any investigation or trial start, the official media accused them with peremptory accusations since the first time of detention. Moreover, the government discredits the victims just like what it did with Al Ghamidi’s mother, in which making the charges or the trials beyond justice.

ESOHR believes that the detention of Al Ghamidi’s mother and his two brothers is revenge for his legitimate political activity.  Also, ESOHR believes that such detention confirms that the role of the State Security Apparatus, which the King Salman has established on July 21st, 2017, is repressive and arbitrary and it is not a role that secures the citizens or governed by the law. The State Security Apparatus consist of five bodies, including the General Directorate of Investigation, the Special Security Forces and the Special Emergency Forces, which are considered as the most bodies that involved in the detentions and human rights violations.

Also, ESOHR is expressing its concern over the targeting of the Ghamdi family, which would be the beginning of an approach of targeting the families of migrant activists who have fled repression, persecution and brutality.

Furthermore, ESOHR confirms that the arbitrary punishment of innocent relatives of detainees is a systematic approach, which ESOHR has documented in a previous report that dealt with the travel ban case of the sons of Sheikh Salman al-Awda, and the detention case of the son of Sheikh Hassan Farhan al-Malik. Also, the victims cannot seek redress because of the absence of an independent judiciary.

The continued detention of Mrs. Aida Al Ghamidi by the Saudi government is a flagrant threat to social and religious values ​​and to the country’s common norms, as well as to jeopardize her health condition further deterioration and puts her life in danger.

Moreover, this disgraceful violation against Mrs. Al Ghamidi came after less than one month of Saudi Arabia participation in the CEDAW, in which Saudi Arabia submitted a number of allegations in women’s rights field; which confirmed that women in Saudi Arabia are still subjected to governmental repression and under the political tyranny, and also the human rights discourse presented by Saudi Arabia in international forums is clearly far from the reality of women situation in the country.

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