The Saudi authorities continue the arbitrary detention of the head of the Islamic Press Association, Dr. Ahmed Al-Soyan, for the fourth year in a row.
Al-Soyyan was arrested on September 20, 2017, without legal basis, and sentenced to three years in prison. However, the Saudi authorities refused to release him despite his serving his prison term.
Dr. Al-Soyyan is one of the victims of the September 2017 crackdown, the largest politcally-motivated arrest campaign in Saudi Arabia.
The campaign also targeted a number of preachers and academics, including Dr. Salman Al-Awda, Dr. Awad Al-Qarni, the academic at the Higher Institute for the Judiciary Abdulaziz Al-Fawzan, the imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saleh Al-Talib, and Dr. Safar Al-Hawali.
It also included intellectuals and economists, such as Essam Al-Zamil, Abdullah Al-Maliki, Jamil Farsi, and Mustafa Al-Hassan, who was later released on health grounds. The arrest campaign also targeted journalists and a number of female rights activists.
Dr. Al-Soyyan’s continued detention raises serious concern over Saudi Arabia’s commitment to justice and legal principles, and stresses the importance of transparent and impartial judicial procedures.