The Saudi regime has not only targeted activists and thinkers, but it also targets their families, restricting their freedom of movement and imposing travel bans against them.
Nasser Al-Qarni, son of the detained academic, Awad Al-Qarni, announced that he finally left Saudi Arabia for fear of being arrested, and to freely defend his detained father, as well as all other detainees.
Nasser shared a video on his Twitter account, saying “I am Nasser, and my father is Dr. Awad Al-Qarni, the detainee whose execution the Public Prosecution is calling for. I announce today in this video that I was able to leave the country and reach a safe place.”
He added: “I went out to defend my father, and to save what can be saved in my country, and I know that speaking inside would result in my arrest, and I was arrested even when I was silent, just for being the son of Dr. Awad Al-Qarni.”
Al-Qarni’s son continued: “We have exhausted all means inside Saudi to release my father, and to stop the injustice he is subjected to.”
He added: “As calling for stopping violations means getting arrested, I left to support and defend detainees, and end the injustice against my father, who is threatened with death.”
Nasser added: “Unfortunately, my country is falling apart, not only in terms of human rights, but in all fields, including social, economic and political.”
He pointed out that “this injustice will creep into every home, and every door. This injustice has affected the silent, and even those who work in the government.”
He concluded by saying: “Unfortunately, I am abroad now, but I wished to express my opinion while I was inside my country.”
The Saudi authorities had arrested Al-Qarni in September 2017, as part of a campaign of arrests of activists, thinkers, academics and legitimate advocates, and he faces charges and a threat with a death penalty.
His charges include “disobeying the ruler, seeking to cause sedition and destabilising the security of the state”, charges that Al-Qarni, who is suffering from serious health deterioration.
Since Prince Mohammed bin Salman received the mandate of the Crown Prince in Saudi Arabia on April 29, 2015, prominent advocates and activists in the country have been subjected to arrest and detention on charges of “terrorism and conspiracy against the state”.
Despite heavy demands by international and non-governmental human rights organisations, public figures and activists, to release them, yet the Saudi authorities ignored these demands and referred them to unfair trials, and issued harsh sentences against many of them, some of which amounted to death.