Creating new perspectives since 2009

Saudi detainees’ families call on officials to boycott G20

November 20, 2020 at 1:36 pm

Saudi activist Loujain Al-Hathloul [AFP/Getty Images]

An advertising campaign was launched today to highlight the massive human rights violations committed by the Saudi regime and calling for a boycott of this weekend’s G20 Summit which is hosted by the Gulf kingdom.

The Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR) along with the families of Saudi detainees Salman Al-Ouda, Loujain Al-Hathoul and Abdulrahman Al-Sadhan launched the initiative, publishing full page adverts in the Washington Postthe GuardianLA TimesSueddeutsche Zeitung and the Star to highlight the plight of the prisoners who are deprived of their basic human rights.

“This summit is a sham and used by the Saudi regime to whitewash its bad human rights record and its atrocities in Yemen,” AOHR said in a statement today.

“The summit is being attended by the leaders of the G20 nations around the world including the United States, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Italy,” it continued, adding: “Nations that pride themselves on upholding human rights. This is hypocrisy of the highest order and is not compatible with the laws and ethos.”

Campaigners are calling on the Saudi regime to free the political prisoners and respect their basic rights and legal process.

“Saudi leaders insist on abusing their citizens’ rights as they feel they have full immunity and protection from international reaction as long as they are involved in deals worth hundreds of billions of Dollars,” AOHR added.

READ: Jailed Saudi women activists ‘tortured’, forced to carry out ‘sex acts’, claims new report

“The lack of accountability proves that the attending leaders are more concerned with their short-sighted arms deals rather than human rights. This summit gives the green light to the brutal Saudi regime to continue in its daily business of supressing opponents who dislike its agenda.”

Cleric Al-Ouda was detained at his home in Riyadh on 9 September 2017 and accused of 37 charges, including incitement to change the Saudi regime, joining banned international unions and associations and stirring up discord.

His son, Abdullah, revealed late last year that his father was being tortured in detention.

On 12 March 2018, officials dressed in civilian clothes arrested Al-Sadhan from his workplace at the headquarters of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority in Riyadh. They confiscated his telephone before forcibly removing him, taking him to an unknown location. The next day, a group of men dressed in police uniform entered his home by force. Sources reported that they saw the men removing a laptop, a smartphone and other personal belongings.

Al-Hathloul was arrested along with a number of human rights activists, including Samar Badawi, Nassima Al-Sada, Nouf Abdel Aziz and Maya Al-Zahrani, on 15 May 2018, for allegedly harming the kingdom’s security.

However, human rights reports said the activists had been detained for defending women’s rights.