Urgent Action Update: Palestinian Men Face Unfair Trial (Saudi Arabia: UA 172.19)

April 3, 2020

On 8 March 2020, 81-year-old Palestinian national Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari and his son Dr. Hani al-Khudari (48 years old) were brought before the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC), Saudi Arabia’s counter-terror court, in a mass trial on trumped-up charges under the counter-terror law. They have no legal representation. Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari requires adequate medical attention and treatment for cancer.

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King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
Due to postal restrictions caused by COVID-19, please only send physical mail to the Embassy

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
Twitter: @SaudiEmbassyUSA
Salutation: Your Royal Highness

Your Majesty,

On 8 March 2020, Palestinian national Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari and his son Dr. Hani al-Khudari were brought before the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC), for their alleged connection to the Hamas de-facto authorities in Gaza, as part of a mass trial of 68 individuals. According to information received by Amnesty International, the two men were charged with “joining a terrorist entity”- understood to be Hamas. Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari was additionally charged with holding several leadership positions within the entity and establishing institutions that finance it within the Kingdom. Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari had once served as an official representative of the Hamas de-facto administration in Saudi Arabia, but he resigned from the post 10 years ago. Dr Hani al-Khudari is a university professor and has no political affiliation. Both men have had no legal representation since their arrest. Their next court session is scheduled for 5 May 2020. Amnesty International has found that trials before the SCC have failed to adhere to international fair trial standards and that every stage of proceedings involving this court have been characterized by human rights abuses.

Both men were arbitrarily arrested on 4 April 2019 and remained in detention without charges until 8 March 2020. They were forcibly disappeared for one month after their arrest and held incommunicado and in solitary confinement for the next two months of their detention. A month into Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari’s arrest, his wife received a phone call from authorities in Dhahban Prison requesting his medical records. Two weeks prior to his arrest Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari had undergone surgery. There is serious concern for his health as he was detained while he was being treated for cancer. This concern has been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic and the particular threat it poses to older prisoners and those with underlying medical conditions. Dr. Mohammed al-Khudari is currently detained in Al-Hai’r Prison in Riyadh, while his son, Dr. Hani al-Khudari, is detained in Dhahban Prison near Jeddah.

Given the current COVID-19 pandemic and Dr Mohammed al-Khudari’s poor health, I urge you to secure his release without delay. I also 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.

Yours Sincerely,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES