The Saudi judiciary has arbitrary sentenced some prisoners of conscience from the Al-Huwaitat tribe for their refusal to be forcibly displaced from their lands and homes in order to build the “NEOM” city project launched of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2017.
The Specialised Criminal Court sentenced Abdel Nasser Al-Huwaiti to 27 years in prison, Ahmed Al-Huwaiti to 20 years in prison, and Mahmoud Al-Huwaiti to 35 years in prison.
Sheikh Abdel-Nasser Ahmed Al-Huwqiti and Mahmoud Ahmed Al-Huwaiti are the brothers of the late Abdel-Rahim Al-Huwaiti, who was shot dead by the Saudi forces for refusing the forced displacement from his home.
These harsh sentences come about two months after US President Joe Biden visited Saudi Arabia, which human rights activists have warned may encourage Saudi Arabia’s violations against dissidents and activists calling for freedom and political reforms.
The Saudi authorities are imposing a blackout on the conditions of many detainees, while news leak confirms the deterioration of the health of many of them, or being subjected to torture and ill-treatment.
A prominent UN official has recently accused the Saudi authorities of ongoing violations of human rights, and using the fight against terrorism as a pretext for arbitrary detention and the ban on freedom of opinion and expression.
The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Fionwala Ni Ulin, published a report within the work of the 49th session of the Human Rights Council on global practices in secret detention, to follow up on the recommendations of a 2010 study on combating terrorism and human rights.