The detained human rights activist in Saudi Arabia, Mohamed Al-Rabiah, continues his open hunger strike for the 28th consecutive day, in protest against his retrial before the Specialised Criminal Court despite the end of his sentence.
In a similar manner practiced against other political detainees, the Saudi court is expected to increase the sentence issued against Al-Rabiah.
Al-Rabiah’s sentence ended in late September 2022, however the Supreme Court accepted a request from the Public Prosecution to retry him.
On May 15, 2018, the Saudi authorities had arrested Al-Rabiah as part of arrests targeting women defenders and human rights defenders, including Loujain Al-Hathloul and Aziza Al-Yousef.
On April 20, 2021, the Specialised Criminal Court sentenced him to six and a half years in prison, two of which were suspended. He was tried for his human rights activism. Al-Rabiah was subjected to brutal torture during the years of his imprisonment.
This new decision against Al-Rabiah coincides with an unprecedented wave of new lengthy sentences handed down by Saudi courts in the past two months against critics of the Saudi regime.
The Saudi authorities are imposing a blackout on the conditions of many detainees, while news leaks confirm the deterioration of the health of many of them, or being subjected to torture and ill-treatment.
Hundreds of human rights activists, preachers and academics are subjected to political detention in Saudi Arabia, on alleged charges of “terrorism and conspiracy against the state”. The Saudi authorities refer the detainees to mock trials, which lack the minimum standards of fair trials, and issues death sentences against many of the opponents.