In a new slam to all human rights conventions and despite international criticism, the Saudi Specialised Criminal Court in Riyadh sentenced the Egyptian doctor, Sabri Mossad Ibrahim Shalaby, to 20 years in prison on charges of supporting a political group, the Saudi authorities deemed “terrorist”.
Sabri Shalaby is an Egyptian doctor who worked for the Saudi Ministry of Health between 2006 and 2019. 10 years after he started working, he discovered that he was registered in the Ministry with a title less than his contracted title. He filed a lawsuit in 2017 and won the case in 2019, and the ruling ordered that he gets his salary retroactively since the date of the contract.
In response, the Ministry of Health appealed the ruling, arbitrarily terminated his contract, and issued him a final exit visa, so he booked his return tickets to Egypt after the appeal hearing.
On January 28, 2020, two weeks before the session, he was arrested by a security group from the General Directorate of Investigations in Tabuk City. His wife asked for the reasons of his arrest and was told he will be taken for investigations and will come back immediately.
They confiscated the wife’s passport, his laptop, two mobiles, 13 memory cards, his medical books, which does not have any political contents.
Shalaby was held in solitary confinement for 9 months, and in October 2020 he was transferred to a group cell. During his solitary confinement, he went on hunger strike to be allowed to communicate with his family in Egypt and to end his solitary confinement, but to no avail. The prison authorities then transferred his to the prison hospital as a result of his deterioration.
Shalaby suffers from several diseases, including diabetes, cataracts in the eye, and asthma, and he also underwent a spinal surgery prior to his arrest.
On August 7, 2022, his family visited him and stressed that he lost a lot of weight and that he suffers from back pain. He requested to be transferred to an external hospital with a neurologist at his own expense; however, his request is still pending until now.