Urgent Action Update: 83-Year-Old Detainee Needs Urgent Medical Care (Saudi Arabia: UA 172.19)
February 16, 2021
The health of 83-year-old Palestinian national detained in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari, has been deteriorating due to the lack of access to adequate health care, including care for his bladder catheterization, compounding bad detention conditions. Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari had undergone surgery and was being treated for prostate cancer when the Saudi authorities arbitrarily arrested him and his son, Dr. Hani al-Khudari on 4 April 2019. One year later, Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari and Dr. Hani al-Khudari were brought before the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) in a mass trial marred by serious due process violations, including being denied adequate access to a lawyer.
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King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques
Office of His Majesty the King
Royal Court, Riyadh
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: +966 11 403 3125
Ambassador Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
601 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington DC 20037
Phone: 202 342 3800
Contact Form: https://bit.ly/2KScqag
Salutation: Your Royal Highness
Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari, an 83-old Palestinian national, needs urgent medical care as his health is steadily deteriorating in the prison of Abha, Saudi Arabia. When he was arrested on 4 April 2019, he was undergoing cancer treatment, and concerns for his health have increased with the COVID-19 pandemic and risks for an older person with underlying medical conditions. Earlier this year, Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari lost partial function of his right hand and lost some of his teeth. He is currently dependent on his son, detained with him, to feed him and help him around the prison.
In November 2020, Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari and his son, Dr. Hani al-Khudari, were transferred to Abha prison, which lacks medical specialists and the standard care required by Dr. al-Khudari. Although he has been allowed access to medical care in jail, he was denied consultation with specialist doctors to conduct check-ups and assess tumor size. The last time he had access to a specialist was three months ago in Dhahban prison. On 8 March 2020, both men were charged before the SCC with “joining a terrorist entity” – understood to be Hamas de facto authorities – as part of a mass trial of 68 individuals. Dr. al-Khudari was additionally charged with holding several leadership positions within the entity. Their trial has been marred by numerous and serious violations of their due process rights, including enforced disappearance, arbitrary arrest and detention, being held incommunicado and solitary confinement.
I call on you to ensure these unfounded charges against Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari and Dr. Hani al-Khudari are dropped and that they are released. In the interim, ensure that both men are given regular access to their lawyer. Pending the dropping of charges, I call on you to urgently transfer Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari to a hospital where he is able to receive the urgent specialized medical care he needs.