The Saudi academic Dr. Muhammad Fahd Al-Qahtani is continued to be forcibly disappeared for about eight months, despite the end of his 10-year sentence since November 22.
Al-Qahtani’s sudden disappearance came shortly after he complained about his poor detention conditions.
Last May, Al-Qahtani was subjected to a physical assault while he was asleep at the hands of a psychiatric patient detained with him, which poses a real threat to his life.
The wife of the imprisoned human rights defender launched a cry for help to disclose her husband’s fate after being denied any family contact by the al-Ha’ir Prison administration since October 23, 2022.
“I ask everyone who carries love of humanity in his heart to disclose the fate of my forcibly disappeared husband, Muhammad al-Qahtani,” she wrote on Twitter.
She pointed out that the Saudi authorities continue to ignore her distress calls and letters.
“More than eight months have passed since my husband was forcibly disappeared.”
“The situation is really alarming!”
Al-Qahtani, a former professor at the Riyadh Institute for Diplomatic Studies, was arrested in 2012 along with a large number of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) which called for focussing on the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and for an elected parliament and the creation of legal institutions to support transparency and accountability in the Kingdom.
One year later, Al-Qahtani was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by a 10-year travel ban after an unfair and secret trial.
Al-Qahtani was charged of establishing an unlicensed civil association (Hasm), criticising the state’s policies, inciting public opinion against officials, and describing Saudi Arabia as a police state.
In the wake of leaked reports of torture and mistreatment, Saudi Arabia imposes a complete blackout on the detention conditions of many detainees.