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UA 333/91 - Saudi Arabia: fear of torture / execution: Muhammad al-Fasi

, Index number: MDE 23/003/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 23/03/91
Distr: UA/SC
UA 333/91 Fear of Torture/Execution 10 October 1991
Saudi Arabia Muhammad al-Fasi
On 2 October 1991 Muhammad al-Fasi, a Saudi Arabian businessman, was detained
by Jordanian security forces at the Intercontinental Hotel in Amman, Jordan.
Jordanian officials have been quoted in press reports saying that he was
subsequently handed over to the Saudi Arabian authorities, who had asked for
his extradition. Unconfirmed reports suggest that this took place at
al-Haditha crossing on the Saudi-Jordanian frontier. In press interviews,
officials of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Jordan have denied knowledge of his
forcible return. According to reports received by Amnesty International,
Muhammad al-Fasi is currently detained at a secret location in Riyadh. It is
feared that he is at risk of being tortured and also at risk of execution.
During the Gulf crisis, Muhammad al-Fasi was critical of the Saudi Arabian
Government. He broadcast his views from a radio station, the "Voice of the
People of Najd and Hijaz", which was transmitting from Baghdad. He also issued
press releases and made public statements calling for reforms and democracy
in Saudi Arabia. In the aftermath of the Gulf war, he established a fund to
send humanitarian aid to Iraq.
Muhammad al-Fasi was in Amman on a visit with his family. He is 38 years
old and has seven children. He is related to the ruling al-Saud family through
the marriage of one of his sisters to Prince Turki bin 'Abd al-'Aziz, brother
of King Fahd bin 'Abd al-'Aziz. However, the Saudi Arabian Government has
apparently been seeking to arrest him because of his political activities.
Amnesty International is gravely concerned at the apparent unacknowledged
detention of Muhammad al-Fasi in Saudi Arabia. The organization believes he
may be at risk of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or
punishment, and is calling on the Saudi Arabian authorities to clarify his
fate and whereabouts, and provide assurances that he will not be ill-treated
or executed. Amnesty International opposes the ill-treatment of prisoners
and the death penalty in all circumstances.
Amnesty International is also seeking clarification from the Jordanian
authorities as to the reasons for their apparent summary expulsion of Muhammad
al-Fasi to Saudi Arabia. It is also asking the Jordanian authorities what
assurances they sought or obtained from the Saudi Arabian authorities that
he would not be subjected to human rights violations in Saudi Arabia. Amnesty
International opposes the expulsion of people to countries where they may be
at risk of being imprisoned as prisoners of conscience or subjected to torture,
"disappearance" or execution.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern at reports that Muhammad al-Fasi is held in
unacknowledged detention in Saudi Arabia following his forcible return from
Jordan and seeking clarification of his current whereabouts;
- seeking assurances that he is being treated humanely and that he will
not be executed;
- urging that he be allowed immediate and regular access to a lawyer, family
members and an independent doctor;
- requesting clarification of the legal basis of his apparent detention
and urging that he be freed unless he is to be charged with a recognizably
criminal offence.
The Custodian Custodian of the Two Holy
of the Two Holy Shrines Shrines
King Fahd bin 'Abd al-'Aziz
Head of State, Custodian of the Two Holy Shrines and Prime
Office of His Majesty the King
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Telegrams: King Fahd bin 'Abd al-'Aziz, Riyadh, Saudi
Telexes: 403370 GUESTP SJ or 403260 NASRIA SJ
405000 MFA SJ; 405920 DIPLO SJ (Ministry of
Foreign Affairs)
Faxes: + 966 1 402 3707 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
His Royal Highness Your Royal Highness
Prince Naif bin 'Abd al-'Aziz
Minister of the Interior
Ministry of the Interior
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Telegrams: Minister Interior, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Telexes: 404416 DMMOI SJ (Riyadh)
603788 AMN SJ (Jeddah)
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of Saudi Arabia and Jordan in your
SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your
section office, if sending appeals after 21 November 1991.

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