HLHR: Saudi activist Abdullah al-Mubaraki was arrested by the Saudi Arabia’s Mabahith (Detective Service) on July 22nd from his home in the city of Yanbu and has been forcibly disappeared since then.
Al-Mubaraki, 44, was arrested by the Mabahith following a raid on his home in the city of Yanbu. After being arrested he was taken to an unknown location and denied any contact with his family. His fate and whereabouts remain unknown.
Despite the family’s attempts to find out where he was, and their check of the prisons of Yanbu, Medina and Jeddah, they were unable to reach him.
The reason for these measures is also unknown but appears to be linked to the expression of his opinion, and his participation in social media campaigns to defend the political and civil rights, and his objection to government policies.
Human rights organizations including ESOHR believe that al-Mubaraki’s arrest is due to his exercise of his right of freedom of speech.
In Saudi Arabia the practice of enforced disappearance is part of a larger pattern of arbitrary arrests of people exercising their right to free speech and other fundamental rights, followed by shorter or longer periods of disappearance before the victims resurface to face trial.
These disappearances sometimes last for a very long time, raising concerns for the safety and even lives of the victims.
In the past few months alone, several others have been arbitrarily arrested and disappeared in Saudi Arabia after peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression online, including physician Lina Alsharif and blogger Abdullah Gilan.
It is noteworthy that on contrary to promises and official promotion of openness, Saudi Arabia continues to suppress freedom of opinion and expression, and violations, in particular the practice of enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention.
Human rights organizations including HLHR call on the Saudi authorities to immediately disclose the fate and whereabouts of Abdullah al-Mubaraki and others who have been forcibly disappeared, and to immediately and unconditionally release all those arbitrarily arrested for expressing their opinions.