On 10 October, the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, sentenced 10 Egyptian Nubian men to prison terms ranging between 10 to 18 years following a grossly unfair trial for organizing a peaceful remembrance event. They were charged with establishing an association without a license, showing solidarity with the Muslim Brotherhood and posting on social media. Some of the men are elderly and suffer from health conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular issues. The Saudi authorities must immediately and unconditionally release the 10 Egyptian Nubian men, quash their sentences, and drop all charges brought against them. Pending their release, the Saudi authorities must ensure that they have full access to medical care, their lawyers and family members.
- Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on December 9, 2022.
- Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
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His Majesty King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
Office of His Majesty the King Royal Court,
Riyadh Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: +966 11 403 3125,
Your Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud,
I am alarmed to learn that 10 Egyptian Nubian men
were sentenced to prison terms ranging between 10 to 18 years by the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) in the capital Riyadh on 10 October. According to one of the men’s relatives, they were sentenced under Articles 34, 43, and 44 of Saudi Arabia’s Counter-Terrorism Law on charges of establishing an association without a license, showing solidarity with the Muslim Brotherhood and posting on social media. The families of the 10 men were prevented from attending the sentencing hearing. According to one of the men’s relatives, some of them are older and suffer from health problems, such as diabetes and cardiovascular issues.
On 14 July 2020, the 10 men were arrested by the Saudi General Directorate of Investigation (al-Mabahith) in relation to a cultural event they had planned on 25 October 2019 to mark the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. They were detained incommunicado with no access to their lawyers or family members for the first two months of their detention. The 10 men attended their first hearing before the SCC on 10 November 2021, where they met their lawyer for the first time in almost 16 months. At the second hearing, which took place on 24 January 2022, the defence statement included allegations that the confessions provided by the men were extracted under coercion. The prosecution objected to this paragraph and the judge ordered the defence lawyer to amend it.
I urge you to release all ten men immediately as they are detained solely for peacefully exercising their human rights. Pending their release, I call on you to ensure that they have full access to medical care, lawyers of their choice and regular contact with their families. Furthermore, I urge you to protect minorities of all ethnic, cultural, and linguistic identities, and grant them their basic human rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and association in Saudi Arabia.