Saudi activists confirmed the death of Dr. Musah Al-Qarni yesterday, Tuesday 12 October, in Al-Dhban prison in Jeddah city in Saudi Arabia, which is a notorious prison known for poor detention conditions and mistreatment of detainees, especially political detainees.
Al-Qarni spent most of his detention period incommunicado in different prisons, including Dhban, Haiir, where he was deprived of a bed, in a very hot or cold cells, in addition to being severely tortured for which he was transferred to hospital.
In 2006, Al-Qarni was one of four men to ask then-King Abdullah for permission to initiate a group that would host discussions of “freedom, justice, equality, citizenship, pluralism, advice, and the role of women.” This request was never acknowledged.
A year later, in February 2007, as a member of the wider “Jeddah Reformers” group, Al-Qarni was arrested. He was then held without trial for three years. In 2010 Saudi’s Special Criminal Court sentenced members of the group to lengthy prison sentences and fines; Al-Qarni himself was sentenced to twenty years detention, travel ban and fines, in a trial that lacked the minimum standards of a fair trial, in which detainees were denied legal representation or defense about themselves.
Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) had called on the international community to take a firm stance against the violations of the Saudi regime, which seeks by all means to whitewash its violations, and to renounce this regime which is responsible for committing the most heinous violations against Saudi opponents, and hundreds of thousands of civilians in Yemen, without being subjected to any kind of accountability or punishment.