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AlSulaiman in Detention for More than 38 Months, and Continuously Violating International Standards for Fair Trial

لقراءته بالعربية اضغط هنا

On 11/03/2011, the Saudi authorities arrested the activist Fadel Ali AlSuleiman with regard to leading a demonstration on 04/03/2011 in AlAhsa’s province, located eastern side of Saudi Arabia, in coincidence with the Arab Spring protests.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in AlAhsa arrested him, then he was transferred to several detention centers and then to the AlMalaz’s Prison, specialized for criminal offenses, which located at the capital Riyadh.

The public prosecutor charges AlSulaiman with multiple charges, which mostly related to the freedom of expression, as follow: demonstrating in front of AlAhsa Municipality, provoking demonstration, attacking the security forces by rejecting the arrest and smashed their camera, public order crime, disobeying wali alamr (guarding).

AlSulaiman arrest is a typical arbitrary one, which was done 8 people that physically attacked him by punches; kicks; beaten with batons, and verbally insulted with degrading and humiliating words. This cause a physical disability in three fingers of his left hand. And after he got into the police car, the policemen continued attacking him physically and verbally until they arrived to the Department of Criminal Investigation at the Police Center in AlAhsa. He was interrogated badly by the police chief along with a number of officers, followed by a multiple transfers between detention centers. He was even transferred to Dammam Detectives’ prison, which refused to have him due to AlSulaiman injury. Therefore, he was taken to him to the Security Forces Hospital where he was held in a confinement room for two months accompanied with the humiliating investigation by 6 detectives. Then, he was returned to AlAhsa’s Police Center again and placed in solitary confinement in the AlSalhiya Police Center for a month, then to AlAhsa General Prison and ended to AlMalaz Prison in Riyadh.

These violations of the activist AlSulaiman’s rights clearly disregard with Article 2 of the Law of Criminal Procedure, which states “An arrested person shall not be subjected to any bodily or moral harm.  Similarly, he shall not be subjected to any torture or degrading treatment” and also Article 35 “Any such person shall be treated decently and shall not be subjected to any bodily or moral harm.”

At the first session of his trial, the judge ordered to release him according to consisted law with his case, but the Supreme Court refused, and his case has been referred to the Court of Criminal specialized (CCS) in Riyadh, which specialized in terrorism and state security issues.

On 26/09/2014, AlSulaiman will appear in court at its headquarters (for summer only) in Jeddah city, in session # 12 of the trial that continued for more than 35 months so far. This is incompatible with international standards for fair trial that require showing suspended expeditiously to eliminate in order to check litigation in a reasonable time “Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgment.”

The defense demanded the medical report which clarifies AlSuleiman’s torture, and the judge requested it as well, but the General Intelligence is refusing to submit the report and keeping it classified.

This arrest lead to deprive AlSuleiman, 53 years old, from his job and his years of service employment’s rights in the Ministry of Education in the Eastern Province as a supervisor in charge of public relations and educational media, starting from the first months of arrest at the beginning of 2011.

We in the European Saudi Society for Human Rights (ESSHR) call the Saudi authorities to:

–        The immediate release of the activist AlSulaiman, under Article 123 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which states “If the accused is referred to a court, his release if detained or detention if not under arrest shall be within the jurisdiction of the court to which he has been referred.

–        Dropping the charges, which defined as a legal right by the Assembly, local and international conventions as the freedom of expression.

–        Prosecuting responsible officials as police forces who participated in the AlSulaiman injury to a fair trial.

–        Allowing the citizens to exercise their rights, as freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration, which guaranteed in the treaties to which Saudi joined.

Wali AL-Amr, in Islam, this term means both the person in charge of the community as well as a guardian of a person.

The Saudi Law of Criminal Procedure, 2013


Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1976, and in accordance to Article 49


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