February 17, 2015

Urgent Action Update: Prisoner Of Conscience Detained Again (Saudi Arabia: UA 35/15)

Issa al-Nukheifi, a Saudi Arabian human rights activist, was detained again and remains in detention since 18 December. He is a prisoner of conscience and should be released immediately.
Issa al-Nukheifi received a call from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on 17 December 2016 asking him to go to al-Nouzha police station in Mecca for questioning. He went to the station the following day, on 18 December 2016, and was arrested upon arrival. The Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution (BIP) interrogated Issa al-Nukheifi multiple times about his human rights activism and contact with international human rights organizations. He was interrogated in particular about his online activism, which included tweets he had sent out in support of members of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) and other detainees, as well as his role in setting up “Saudi Popular Parliament”, a Twitter account set up on 10 December 2016 aimed at promoting democracy in Saudi Arabia. On 30 December, Issa al-Nukheifi was moved to Mecca General Prison where he is currently being detained.
Issa al-Nukheifi was previously arrested on 15 September 2012, three weeks after he appeared on television accusing the local authorities in Jazan, in the south-western region of Saudi Arabia, of corruption and numerous human rights violations. Issa al-Nukheifi was initially sentenced to three years in prison and a four-year travel ban on 29 April 2013 by the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh, the capital, for violating Article 6 of the Anti-Cyber Crime Law. The court also ordered that his Facebook and Twitter accounts be closed down. Upon appeal, in June 2013, his sentence was increased by eight months. Issa al-Nukheifi was released on 6 April 2016 after serving his sentence. On 18 December, eight months after his release, he was rearrested.
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Urging the Saudi Arabian authorities to release Issa al-Nukeifi immediately and conditionally as he is a prisoner of conscience detained solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression;
  • Urging them to ensure that pending his release, he is protected from torture and other ill-treatment, and is granted prompt and regular access to his family and a lawyer of his choosing;
  • Calling on the authorities to ensure that, while is he detained, his due process rights are upheld and that any legal proceedings against him conform to international fair trial standards.
Contact these two officials by 7 March, 2017:
King and Prime Minister
His Majesty 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: (via Ministry of the Interior)
+966 11 403 3125 (please keep trying)
Twitter: @KingSalman
Salutation: Your Majesty
Ambassador Abdullah bin Fisal
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
601 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Washington DC 20037
Fax: 1 202 944 5983  I  Phone: 1 202 342 3800
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
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