The Saudi regime continues to deny its citizens the freedoms of opinion and expression, with activists, academics, and journalists routinely persecuted without any regard for their human rights, despite criticisms from national and international rights-based groups.
A Saudi court has increased the prison sentence of activist Mansour al-Raqiba, 39 years-old, from 18 years to 27 years.
The authorities arrested al-Raqiba May 2022 following an accusation made against him, one that he himself discussed in a video shared on social media.
Al-Raqiba’s entire neighborhood was surrounded by security forces, and approximately 30 officers raided his home. Al-Mansour’s personal property, including his electronic devices, were taken, and he was detained.
During the raid his family was held captive and gathered in a single room of the house. Several women were ordered to face a wall for an extended period, and all the residents of the home had their phones confiscated.
Since his detention, al-Mansour has suffered various health complaints, including kidney issues and bouts of depression.
Since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman took effective power in the Kingdom on 29 April 2015, numerous prominent activists and religious figures in the country have been subject to politicized arrests and detention, typically on the basis of charges such as “conspiracy against the state”.
Such arrests have continued, despite criticism from many international human rights organisations.
The Saudi authorities have imposed a blackout on the reporting on conditions of detainees in the country. However, leaks from inside the prison system suggest the widespread use of torture and other forms of mistreatment.