Alerts in Saudi Arabia
Date: 10 January 2009
Matrook al-Faleh, a political scientist at Riyadh’s King Saud University and a leading human-rights activist, has been released from prison after being held without charge for almost eight months. Dr. al-Faleh was arrested on 19th May 2008 just days after he publicly criticised conditions in a prison where two Saudi human rights activists are serving jail terms.
Date: 23 May 2008
An outspoken critic of the Saudi government has been apprehended by secret police, Human Rights Watch have said. On 19 May Dr. al-Faleh, was arrested on the premises of King Saud University in Riyadh, where he teaches political science. His arrest comes just days after he publicly criticized conditions in a prison where two Saudi human rights activists are serving jail terms.
Date: 15 May 2008
Muhammad Ali Abu Raziza, a psychology lecturer at the University of Um al-Qura in Mecca, has been sentenced to 150 lashes and eight months in prison for meeting a woman in a coffee shop. The academic was convicted of the Islamic law offence of ‘khilwa’ - being found in the company of a member of the opposite sex who is not an immediate relative.
Date: 24 August 2007
Rizana Nafeek, a nineteen year old Sri Lankan worker trafficked into Saudi Arabia, was sentenced to death for the alleged murder of an infant in her care. Education International and NEAR support the global call to stop her execution. BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Nafeek was sent to work overseas in 2005 through an employment agency that obtained a passport falsely stating she was born in 1982 rather than 1988, according to the Times.
Date: 17 November 2005
Muhammad al-Harbi, a high school chemistry teacher has been sentenced by a Saudi court to more than three years in prison and 750 lashes for talking to his pupils about his views on a number of current topics, such as Christianity, Judaism and the causes of terrorism. In Qassim province, north of Riyadh, the prosecution department pressed blasphemy charges against the teacher, labelling him an “apostate,” after his students and fellow teachers filed legal complaints against him.
Date: 23 August 2005
Saudi academics Abdullah al-Hamed and Matrouq al-Faleh, arrested in 2004 and condemned for "stirring up sedition and disobeying the ruler", have been pardoned by newly crowned King Abdullah on 8 August 2005. The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN welcomes their release. Background Information: The two academics were among a dozen leading Saudi reformist intellectuals to be arrested in March 2004 for criticising the National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) and for planning to set up their own human rights organisation.
Date: 17 May 2005
Dr Matrouk al-Falih, former professor of Political Science at ‘King Sa’ud’ University and Dr Abdullah al-Hamid, former professor of contemporary literature at ‘Iman Muhammad bin Sa’uh’ University, were sentenced, 15 May 2005, by a closed court in Riyad after what Amnesty International defines as an unfair trail.
Date: 16 March 2005
Academic Dr. Matrouq al-Faleh and the poet Ali al-Domaini are still in detention in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia after one year. International PEN's Writers in Prison Committee renews its call for the men's release. Dr. al-Faleh is a former political science teacher at the King Sa'ud University in Riyadh and has published a number of books.
Date: 19 September 2004
BBC News reported today that a court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a former university professor of mass communication, Said bin Zair to five years in jail for sowing dissent and sedition. Hard-line Islamist academic Said bin Zair was arrested in April 2004 on charges of condoning suicide bombings in an interview on Qatar-based al-Jazeera TV.
Date: 11 August 2004
The trial against academic Dr. Matrouq al-Faleh and writer Ali Al-Domaini reportedly started on 9 August 2004 at an Islamic court in Riyadh. The two intellectuals have been detained since 15 March 2004 for criticising the authorities. The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN considers both men to be held solely for the peaceful expression of their opinions and calls for their immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Date: 01 May 2004
Dr Tawfiq al-Qussayyir (see NEAR Alert: Academics Held Incommunicado for Criticising National Commission on Human Rights), has reportedly released from prison after he signed pledges that they would liaise with the authorities before carrying out any public activity. However, Dr al-Falih and Dr al-Hamid, are still reportedly held without charge or trial, with other prisoners, at the al-Mabahith al-'Amma prison in 'Ulaysha,in the capital, Riyadh, where they may be at risk of torture and ill-treatment.
Date: 17 March 2004
Three Saudi Arabian university professors and other nine people have been arrested since 15 March 2004, apparently for criticising the government-appointed human rights watchdog. They are reportedly held incommunicado at the General Intelligence (al-Mabahith al-'Amma) in 'Ulaysha, in the capital, Riyadh.