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Rights group calls on Morocco not to extradite academic to Saudi

March 1, 2021 at 2:50 pm

Osama Alhasani [Screengrab/Youtube]

The Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) today called on Morocco not to extradite Saudi-Australian academic [ to Riyadh, saying to do so “would would put his life at risk”.

In a statement released today, AOHR UK pointed out that Alhasani, who is a former faculty member at King Abdulaziz University, was arrested a few hours after arriving in Morocco three weeks ago, based on an arrest warrant and a request for his extradition by the Saudi authorities, despite entering Morocco as an Australian citizen.

Alhasani’s wife told AOHR UK: “Security forces stormed the garage of our residence in Tangiers after four hours of our arrival in Morocco on February 8, 2021. They arrested my husband by force after insulting and beating him in front of me and our four-year-old child. They informed us that he was internationally wanted by the Saudi authorities without giving further details.”

“I was only able to visit my husband two days after his arrest, for five minutes only and with the presence of the security personnel,” she explained, adding that Alhasani was “being pressured by the Moroccan police to sign his agreement on being extradited without being tried in Morocco, but he refused.”

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“He suffered ill-treatment and was only served bread and water,” she explained.

Alhasani, she explained, had a heart attack three months ago and is on regular medication to regulate his blood pressure, which police have refused to take possession of.

He is expected to stand before Moroccan authorities on Wednesday who will decide if he will be extradited to Saudi.

AOHR UK stressed that “extraditing Alhasani to Saudi Arabia is a gross violation of international law … as the Saudi judiciary system is complexly flawed, not independent, and is politicized, therefore it is unable to enforce the law.”

It went on to call “on the Australian authorities to intervene immediately and take action to prevent the extradition of the Australian citizen to Saudi and to save his life.”