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UA 344/94 - Saudi Arabia: mass arbitrary arrests / incommunicado detention / fear of torture or ill-treatment: Sheikh Salman bin Fahd al-'Awda, Sheikh Safr 'Abdul-Rahman al-Hawali, Sheikh 'Ayedh al-Qarani, 'Abdullah al-Jalali, Dr Nasser al-Umar, Sulaiman

, Índice: MDE 23/005/1994

Those named above are reported to be among hundres of suspected Sunni Islamist opponents of the government arrested between 13 and 19 September 1994. The vast majority include religious scholars, businessmen, students and academics. They are being held incommunicado in al-Hair prison, General Intelligence headquarters in al-'Ulaisha and in police stations in al-Quseem and Riyadh. There is grave concern they may be subjected to torture and ill-treatment.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 23/05/94
Distr: UA/SC
UA 344/94 Mass arbitrary arrests / incommunicado detention /
Fear of torture or ill-treatment 19 September 1994
SAUDI ARABIASheikh Salman bin Fahd al-'Awda, aged 39, religious scholar
Sheikh Safr 'Abdul-Rahman al-Hawali, aged 40, former Head of Shari'a Department
at 'Um al-Qura University
Sheikh 'Ayedh al-Qarani, aged 39, religious scholar
'Abdullah al-Jalali, aged 70, business man
Dr. Nasser al-Umar, aged 40, lecturer at al-Imam University
Sulaiman al-Rushudi, lawyer
Dr. Khalid al-Duwaish, aged 40, lecturer at King Sa'ud University
Dr. Bishr al-Bishr, aged 37, lecturer at al-Imam Univerity
Tuyan al-Tuyan, journalist at 'Akadh newspaper
Ahmad bin Saleh al-Sa'wi, student
and hundreds of others
Those named above are reported to be among hundreds of suspected Sunni Islamist
opponents of the government arrested between 13 and 19 September 1994 by
al-Mabahith al-'Ama (General Intelligence) and other security forces. The
vast majority were arrested in the towns of al-Buraida, al-'Unaiza and
al-Bukayriya in al-Qaseem Province. They include religious scholars,
businessmen, students and academics. They are being held in incommunicado
detention in al-Hair prison, General Intelligence headquarters in al-'Ulaisha
and in police stations in al-Quseem and Riyadh. The latest arrests have
followed the detention of Sheikh Salman al-'Awda and Sheikh Safr al-Hawali,
on 13 and 17 September respectively. Both are prominent religious figures
and critics of the ruling royal family.
Amnesty International is gravely concerned that those arrested may be subjected
to torture and ill-treatment.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Hundreds of Sunni Islamist opponents of the government have been arrested since
April 1994, following the transfer to London of the headquarters of Committee
for the Defence of Legitimate Rights-CDLR and the opening in London of the
offices of another opposition group: the Advice and Reformation Committee
(Hay'at al-Nasiha wal Islah) led by Sheikh Usama bin Ladin. The CDLR was founded
in Riyadh on 3 May 1993 by six prominent religious scholars and professionals.
It was banned on 11 May and many of its supporters and members were arrested.
They were released a few months later after signing an undertaking to disband
the Committee.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes and airmail letters
either in English or Arabic or in your own language:
- seeking assurances that the above named people and those detained in connection
with the recent arrests of Sunni Islamists are being treated humanely and urging
that they be allowed access to family members, defence counsel and doctors;
- urging that they be immediately released unless charged with a recognizably
criminal offence.
APPEALS TO
His Royal Highness
2
Prince Naif bin 'Abdul-'Aziz
Minister of the Interior
Ministry of the Interior
PO Box 2833
Airport Road
Riyadh 11134
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Telegrams: Minister of the Interior, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Faxes: +966 1 4050130
Telexes: 404416
Salutations: Your Royal Highness
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of Saudi Arabia accredited to your
country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 31 October 1994.

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