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Saudi Arabia L4L asks king to release Walleed Abu al-Khair

09 May 14 

Amnesty International reports on the prosecution of Walleed Abu al-Khair, prominent human rights lawyer in Saudi Arabia and head of human rights organisation Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, for breaking allegiance to and disobeying the ruler, setting up an unlicensed organisation and "participating in establishing another organisation (the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association)." When Walleed Abu al-Khair appeared in Court on 15 April for the fifth hearing in the procedure against him, he was arrested. The judge at this trial has refused to provide an explanation for his arrest. After his arrest, Waleed Abu Al-Khair was taken to al-Ha'ir prison in Riyadh, where he is understood to have been placed in solitary confinement and ill-treated. On 17 April he was allowed to make only a brief phone call to his wife, who has been denied to visit him. Neither Walleed Abu al Khair, his family, nor his lawyers have been informed about the reasons for his detention.

In response to this information, L4L sent letters to the King, Ministers and the Saudi Arabian Ambassador in The Hague. In these letters, L4L demands the release of Walleed Abu al-Khair, calls on the Saudi Arabian government to recognise the valuable role played by human rights lawyers and to promote and support their work in line with the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.

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