Saudi journalist Musa’id Al-Kathiri remains detained even though his prison sentence concluded 28 months ago. Despite his term officially ending, the Saudi authorities persist in their detention of Al-Kathiri.
He was originally taken into custody in September 2017, facing arbitrary arrest for expressing his opinions. Following his trial in the Specialized Criminal Court, he was sentenced to a three-and-a-half-year term, which was completed in February 2021.
With a background in education, Al-Kathiri is a well-respected Saudi journalist known for advocating purposeful television programming for the Saudi populace and promoting youth volunteerism.
He was among the many arrested during the harsh crackdown in September 2017, a wave of imprisonments initiated by the present Saudi regime after Mohammad bin Salman became the Crown Prince. This campaign affected numerous intellectuals, writers, activists, and opponents across different societal layers who disagreed with the regime’s policies.
Al-Kathiri’s experience mirrors that of other individuals imprisoned for their beliefs in Saudi Arabia. He was cut off from his family for extended periods and was not given the opportunity to appoint a defence lawyer or access his case files. He was subjected to a secretive and politicized trial, resulting in his three-and-a-half-year sentence.
Since Mohammed bin Salman’s rise to the position of Crown Prince, there has been an escalation in arbitrary detentions in the kingdom. This repression extends to human rights activists, commentators, intellectuals, and advocates, showcasing a systematic effort by the authorities to suppress dissent. This situation underscores the urgent need for international intervention to halt these abuses.