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In the 18th of May 2014, the Saudi Frontier Corps, arrested Hussein Abu Al-Khair who has Jordanian citizenship (June 1965).
Abu Al-Khair, travelled to Saudi Arabia, coming from Aqaba (a Jordanian city), where he was stopped in the Al-Hakel province, on the charge of possession of narcotics pills in his car.
The arrest of Abu Al-Khair comprised many legal abuses, such that he did not get the right to counsel, and nor was he informed of his rights.
Abu Al-Khairwasexposed to various types of tortureby the Drug Enforcement Administration in the Al-Hakel province, for a period of twelve days. He was hung from his feet with his head down, and hit on his stomach,head, feet, hands and face.
In addition to the physical torture, Abu al-Khair was subjected to psychological torture and the debasement of his dignity through verbal abuse and insults.Abu Al-Khair suffers from pain in his legs and a loss of weight;he also complains of stomach pain and there is an overall deterioration in his condition and mental health in general, so that the effects and impact of the torture can be seen a full year later.
Abu Al-Khair confessed to the charges against him under duress and torture. Later he told the judges of the Court, that the charges against were not valid. Abu Al-Khairwas then transferredto Tabuk prison where he has remained for a year.
The suffering of Abu Al-Khairis against theConvention against Torture andother cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment and punishment, which the Kingdomacceded to inSeptember1997.
This convention states that it is not subject to otherinterpretationsin its ArticleXV: ‘Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made’.
But it is noted that the Judges in Saudi Arabia commonly depend on statements extracted under duress and torture.
Abu Al-Khair’s trial lackedthe mostbasic of fair trial principles adopted internationally, including:
1- The trial was conductedwithout the presence of a lawyer, and this is contrary to Article XVI of the Arab Charter for Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.’
2- No family member was notified about the court date, as he had been subjected to enforced disappearance for nearly two months. This is contrary to the Arab Charter on Human Rights, which affirms the right to communicate with the outside world. On the twenty-eighth of January 2015, Tabuk criminal court sentenced the accused, Hussein Abu al-Khair, to death via a discretionary (Ta’zir) sentence, which commonly involves execution via beheading by the sword in Saudi Arabia.
The judgment is a violation of Article III of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirms the right of everyone to live through the following:
First, the sentence was signed off after an unfair trial. Which is in contradiction to the qualities and standards of a fair trial according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Arab Charter of Human Rights.
Secondly, he was not granted access to a lawyer, so the lawyer’s role was limited on providing a defense or challenge on behalf of his client against the ruling.
Abu al-Khairis currently imprisoned in Tabuk jail. He provided a list of defense counter-claims, which denied the charges against him;and also he confirmed that his trial was not legal, which makes the possibility of achievingjustice forhis case impossible.
Pending the judgment of the Appeal, Abu al-Khair is currentlysuffering due to difficult conditions in prison. Furthermore, his family was prevented from visiting him, as the Saudi Embassy in Jordan rejected (without any justification), the issuance of a visa for his sister.
The Saudi European Organization for Human Rights (ESOHR), calls upon the Saudi government to abide by international laws relating to the Abu al-Khair case, and to hold accountable all those who are responsible and complicit of his torture. Also we affirm that the trial of Abu Al-Khairlacked due process and was not in accordance with the principles of fair trial, due to multiple violations,thatmean it cannot constitute a fair trial.