Call for Hunger Strike

The defense teams of jailed human rights activists in Saudi Arabia have issued a statement this week saying that after exerting all means to get fair treatment to the constitutional movement’s detainees, they have decided to observe a 48-hour hunger strike. The proposed strike will take place on Thursday and Friday, 6-7 November 2008, in protest against flagrant human rights violations for all detainees in Saudi prisons who have been deprived of their basic rights as guaranteed by the Law of Criminal Procedures and Arrest and Detention Law, which stated the following:

  • The Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution shall conduct its investigation and prosecution in accordance with its Law and the implementing regulations thereof (Article 14).
  • During the investigation, the accused shall have the right to seek the assistance of a representative or an attorney (Article 64)…… to defend him during the investigation and trial stages (Article 4).
  • An arrested person shall not be subjected to any bodily or moral harm. Similarly, he shall not be subjected to any torture or degrading treatment (Article 2).
  • Whoever is arrested or detained shall be promptly notified of the reasons for his arrest or detention and shall be entitled to communicate with any person of his choice to inform him of his arrest (Article 116).
  • In all cases, the Investigator shall order that the accused may not communicate with any other prisoner or detainee, and that he not be visited by anyone (i.e., solitary confinements) for a period not exceeding sixty days if the interest of the investigation so requires, without prejudice to the right of the accused to communicate with his representative or attorney (Article 119).
  • In cases that require detention for a longer period, the matter shall be referred to the Director of the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution to issue an order that the arrest be extended for a period or successive periods none of which shall exceed thirty days and their aggregate shall not exceed six months from the date of arrest of the accused. Thereafter, the accused shall be directly transferred to the competent court, or be released (Article 114).
  • Court hearings shall be public (Article 155). The judgment shall be read in an open session at which the parties must be present……. supporting evidence and arguments, the stages of the action, the text of the judgment, reasons and legal bases therefore, and whether it was rendered unanimously or by majority vote (Article 182).
  • A visitation right for prisoners by their family members, friends and legal counselors (Arrest and Detention Law, Article 12)

The defense team declared their observance of a hunger strike in solidarity with following jailed human right activists from the constitutional movement and civil society in Saudi Arabia:

  1. Professor Matrook H. Al-Faleh, political science professor at King Saud University in Riyadh, detained by security forces in May 19, 2008.
  2. Attorney Suliman Ibrahim Al-Reshoudi, former judge and human-right advocate, detained in February 2, 2007.
  3. Attorney Dr. Mousa Mohammed Al-Qarni, former university professor and human-right activist, detained in February 2, 2007.
  4. Professor Abdulrahman Mohammed Al-Shomari, former professor of education and human-right activist, detained in February 2, 2007.
  5. Dr. Abdulaziz Suliman Al-Khereiji, human-right activist, detained in February 2, 2007.
  6. Saifaldeen Faisal Al-Sherif, human-right activist, detained in February 2, 2007.
  7. Fahd Alskaree Al-Qurashi, human-right activist, detained in February 2, 2007.
  8. Abdulrahman Bin Sadiq, Human-right activist, detained in February 2, 2007.
  9. Dr. Saud Mohammed Al-Hashemi, human-right activist, detained in February 2, 2007.
  10. Ali Khosifan Al-Qarni, human-right activist, detained in February 2, 2007.
  11. Mansour Salim Al-Otha, human-right activist, detained in December 12, 2007.

They, furthermore, announced their sympathy with all opinion prisoners in the Saudi jails who suffer human right abuses with no fair chances of defending themselves in accordance with the Law of Criminal Procedures and by getting fair and just trials. Many activists have answered the call (their names will be announced at a later date), and they will participate in the proposed 48-hour hunger strike during the two specified dates to show their objection against the repeated violations of the criminal and detention laws vis-à-vis jailed activists. The demand is quite simple: either to set the detainees free or instantly grant them fair and public trials.

They welcome all activists and citizens who have conscious feelings and interested in participating in the proposed hunger strike to show sympathy and solidarity with all detainees whose basic rights have been violated. Their names and information can be registered by calling members of the defense teams whose phone numbers appear below.

Names of the members of the defense teams who are participating in the hunger strike to show solidarity with the aforementioned detainees:

  1. Ayman Mohammad Al-Rashed, human-right activist. Mobile# +966505288354
  2. Saud Ahmed Al-Degaither, human-right activist. Mobile# +966559201964
  3. Professor Abdulkareem Yousef Al-Khadher, College of Islamic Jurisprudence, Qassim University. Mobil# +966503331113
  4. Dr. Abdulrahman Hamed Al-Hamed, professor of Islamic economics. Mobile# +966503774446
  5. Abdullah Mohammad Al-Zahrani, human-right activist.
  6. Abdulmohsin Ali Al-Ayashi, human-right activist. Mobile# +966553644636
  7. Fahd Abdulaziz Al-Oraini, human-right activist. Mobile# +966502566678. Email: fahadalorani@gmail.com
  8. Fowzan Mohsin Al-Harbi, Human-right activist. Mobile# +966501916774 Email: fowzanm@gmail.com
  9. Dr. Mohammad Fahd Al-Qahtani, college professor and TV show host. Mobile# +966555464345. Email: moh.alqahtani@gmail.com
  10. Mohana Mohammed Al-Faleh, human-right activist. Mobile# +966505388205
  11. Nasser Salim Al-Otha, human-right activist.
  12. Hashim Abdullah Al-Refai, writer and activist.
  13. Waleed Sami Abu Alkhair, writer and activist. Mobile# +966567761788. Fax# +96614272168. Email: abualkair@gmail.com

This act of peaceful protest is the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia and I believe this is the least we can do for those people. Please join the call and spread the word.