Amnesty International said that the health condition of the Palestinian academic detained in Saudi Arabia, Mohamed Al-Khudari, 83, “is rapidly deteriorating in detention in Riyadh” stressing his need for “urgent medical care.”
The organisation launched a campaign calling on Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to “to ensure that Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari is immediately transferred to a hospital to receive the urgent specialized medical care he needs. Furthermore, we reiterate our call that the trumped-up charges against him and Dr. Hani al-Khudari are dropped and that both men are released.”
The letter addressed to the Saudi monarch confirms that the Saudi prison authorities continue to deprive Al-Khudari of the health care he needs due to his cancer, noting that his trial and his son, in which he was sentenced to 15 years in prison with a half-term discount due to his old age, was “marred by numerous and serious violations of their due process rights, including enforced disappearance, arbitrary arrest and detention, being held incommunicado and solitary confinement.
Amnesty pointed out that Al-Khudari suffers from prostate cancer, stressing that “the prison authorities have not allowed him to consult a specialist doctor for over a year now, which has caused his condition to worsen,” adding that he “lost mobility in his right arm due to the harsh sleeping conditions in his cell, as well as half of his hearing. Furthermore, he suffers dental problems on the left side of his mouth, resulting in teeth loss and difficulty eating.”
Amnesty explained that Al-Khudari has significantly lost weight, and is currently suffering from urinary incontinence, herniated disc, knee pain, osteoporosis, and general fragility, stressing that “despite his life-threatening situation, Dr. Mohammed Al-Khudari has not been granted access to a cancer specialist nor to a dentist, even though he has been admitted to hospital a few times.
“Amnesty” quoted a relative of Al-Khudari as saying: “I have never seen him in such state, he is physically and psychologically exhausted”.
Amnesty added that Dr. Hani, the son of Mohamed Al-Khudari, also suffers from “anaemia and kidney stones, and has been refused adequate medical care,” stressing that he was “deprived of adequate medical care, in addition to the fact that “both men contracted COVID-19 in prison.”
“Considering his advanced age and severely deteriorating health, Dr. Mohammed Al-Khudari has submitted several requests to serve his prison sentence under house arrest, but Saudi authorities have not responded to date.”, added Amnesty.
Amnesty confirmed that the arrest and lack of treatment caused severe pressure and psychological pressure on both Dr. Mohamed Al-Khudari and his son Dr. Hani, adding that depriving them of access to appropriate medical care led to a further deterioration in their health, especially Dr. Mohamed, which “violates the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment.
The organisation continued, “both men continue to be deprived of regular communication with their family, as prison authorities can simply cancel their weekly call or monthly family visit without explanation.”
On August 8, the Saudi Criminal Court sentenced Al-Khudari to 15 years in prison, on charges of supporting the resistance, among 68 Jordanians and Palestinians, ranging from acquittal to 22 years in prison.
The Saudi authorities had carried out a campaign of arrests in February of last year, which included about 70 Jordanians and Palestinians working on its lands for many of years, before turning them to trial on charges of supporting the Palestinian resistance.