Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) held the Saudi authorities responsible for the serious health deterioration of the prominent human rights activist Dr. Mohamed Fahad Al-Qahtani.
Al-Qahtani was detained in Al-Hair prison after being sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in 2013 for his human rights and reform activities. Following this unjust verdict, Al-Qahtani entered into an open hunger strike since December 19, 2020, to protest against poor detention conditions and restrictions imposed on him.
Deprivation of the basic rights
Maha Al-Qahtani, the wife of the detained Saudi activist, said in a tweet that her husband has been on a hunger strike for the tenth day in a row “to protest his denial of his rights in prison,” amid “suspicious silence of officials in Al-Hair prison”.
AOHR UK stated that Dr. Al-Qahtani’s strike came in protest against his detention in inhuman conditions, imposing restrictions on communication with his family, failure to meet his demands, as well as the deprivation of his most basic rights. These practices by the Saudi regime are not a precedent in its appalling record in the field of human rights.
Serious medical complications
The danger that threatens Dr. Al-Qahtani’s life will continue as long as the Saudi authorities refuse to provide him with the necessary medical treatment. He currently suffers from general weakness and severe pain. The organisation warned that he could face the same fate of the prominent Saudi human rights and academic, Dr. Abdullah Al-Hamid, who died because of systematic medical negligence.
Flagrant violations amid international silence
AOHR UK stressed that the international silence on the crimes of the Saudi regime at home and abroad as well as the impunity enjoyed by its officials has increased its disregard for international law and covenants. It rather encourages it to continue pursuing repressive policies beyond enforced disappearance, torture and farcical trials, leading to orchestrated assassinations.
AOHR UK called on the international community, human rights defenders, and all free people and those with living consciences to take the necessary action to shed light on the issue of detainees in Saudi prisons, and to pressure the Saudi regime for the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience.