The Saudi Authorities continues its arbitrary detention against the human right defender, Abdulaziz Al-Ghamdi (41 years), since more than two years without any charge and without giving a legal justification for detaining him for this long period while he has not been charged or brought before a judge. Al-Ghamdi, in accordance to the deteriorating environment in Saudi Arabia, is not able to appeal against his indefinite detention.
On the afternoon of April 8, 2014, seven members of the General Intelligence Directorate (GID) in plain clothes stormed the house of Al-Ghamdi without any warrant and frightened the home residents, including children. A GID member drew his weapon and they searched the house, confiscated money, books, and computers, and took Al-Ghamdi to unknown place. The Saudi GID’s raid on Al-Ghamdi home is considered a violation of Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.” In reference to the local laws, we notice that raiding the house and searching it is an illegitimate practice, whereas adding exceptions to such laws, has opened up the door for the authorities to give wide justification for such practices, which made these laws lose their efficiency and be in contrast with the clear International laws. However, the authorities surpass other specific conditions of laws such as showing a search warrant. Hence, the Saudi European Organization for Human Rights (ESOHR) did not monitor before showing any search warrant in any of the ongoing arrest of activists.
Al-Ghamdi has been subjected to many several harassments for his stands and support for the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA). On 27 February 2013 security forces entered his home without a warrant and confiscated his mobile phone and books. He was forced to sign a declaration stating that he would not travel outside the area and that he would appear before the GID whenever requested to do so. He was called several times to the GID offices in Riyadh and was interrogated about many issues including his links with the ACPRA’s members, where he was asked to sign a pledge to stop his legitimate and civil activism, but he refused.
More than two year of detaining Al-Ghamidi involved many legal violations, where he was not charged of any specific offense, brought before a judge, or given access to legal counsel, and he still remains in detention in the prison of the GID in the capital of Riyadh.
The unfair and arbitrary detention of Al-Ghamdi does not harm him alone, but it extends to his family which consists of 11 members, whom he was responsible for their living.
ESOHR confirms that the arbitrary detention of the human rights defender Abdulaziz, based on the expression of his opinion, and peaceful human rights activities such as signing statements, is an oppression and a clear and explicit contradiction to the clear International texts which prohibit deprivation of freedoms and arbitrary practices. The organization calls on the Saudi authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Abdulaziz Al-Ghamdi and all those detained for reasons related to the freedom of expression, guarantee for them the legal compensation for what they have been subjected to and hold the officials accountable for that.