EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 23/05/93
UA 199/93 Fear of Torture/Ill-treatment 18 June 1993
SAUDI ARABIA: Dr 'Abdullah al-Hamed
Dr Muhammad 'Abdullah al-Mas'ari
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Dr 'Abdullah al-Hamed
who was arrested at his house by members of al-Mabahith al-'Amma (General
Intelligence) on 15 June 1993 and taken to an unknown location. It is feared
that Dr 'Abdullah al-Hamed may be subjected to ill-treatment or torture while
being held in incommunicado detention.
Dr 'Abdullah al-Hamed, a writer and a lecturer at al-Imam Muhammad bin Saud
University in Riyadh, was one of the six founding members of Lujnat al-Difa'
'an al-Huquq al-Shar'iyya (Committee for the Defence of Legitimate Rights-CDLR)
in Saudi Arabia. The spokesperson of the CDLR, Dr Muhammad al-Mas'ari, has
been held incommunicado since his arrest on 15 May. He has allegedly been
tortured by being deprived of sleep for prolonged periods.
Since the foundation of the CDLR, Dr 'Abdullah al-Hamed has, on more than one
occasion, been summoned for questioning by the authorities. During these
meetings attempts were reportedly made to persuade him and other CDLR founding
members to disband the committee. Amnesty International believes that Dr
'Abdullah al-Hamed and Dr Muhammad al-Mas'ari are prisoners of conscience
arrested solely for the peaceful expression of their political beliefs.
The CDLR was founded in Riyadh on 3 May by six prominent Saudi Arabian religious
scholars and professionals, among them Dr 'Abdullah al-Hamed. In a statement
the group announced the aims of the organization to be the "alleviation of
injustice...and the defence of legitimate rights decided by the Shari'a (Islamic
law)". It called on individuals to report to the committee any injustice or
information that may help eliminate injustice. On 11 May the Council of Senior
'Ulama (religious scholars), the highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia,
issued a statement expressing surprise at the establishment of such an
organization, stating that Saudi Arabia had no need for human rights
organizations since it was ruled in accordance with the Shari'a.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in English, Arabic or in your own language:
- seeking assurances that both Dr 'Abdullah al-Hamed and Dr Muhammad
al-Mas'ari are being treated humanely and urging that they be allowed access
to family members, defence counsel and doctors;
- urging that Dr 'Abdullah al-Hamed and Dr Muhammad al-Mas'ari be immediately
and unconditionally released.
1) His Royal Highness
Prince Naif bin 'Abdul-'Aziz
Minister of the Interior
Ministry of the Interior
PO Box 2833