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UN calls on Saudi Arabia to release Palestinian prsioners 'immediately'

Palestinians take part in a protest in solidarity with prisoners in Saudi jails, in front of the Red cross office, in Gaza city on on 16 October 2019. [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]
Palestinians take part in a protest in solidarity with prisoners in Saudi jails, in front of the Red cross office, in Gaza city on on 16 October 2019 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

Saudi authorities must stop the arbitrary detention of Palestinians "immediately", the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said yesterday.

The Working Group finds that Mohammed Al Khoudary and Hani Al Khoudary were deprived of their liberty on discriminatory grounds, based on their national origin as Palestinians," the report says of the two men who have been held in detention since April 2019.

The report described the detention of Palestinians in Saudi prisons as "arbitrary," stressing that the Saudi government "failed to establish a legal basis for the arrest and detention of Mohammed Al Khoudary and Hani Al Khoudary."

"The right of Mohammed Al Khoudary and Hani Al Khoudary not to be subjected to arbitrary detention has been violated, because their detention in Saudi Arabia is unreasonable, unlawful, inappropriate and unnecessary due to the "non-observance" and gross violation by Saudi Arabia of their fundamental rights to a fair trial."

The UN organisation accused the Saudi authorities of taking "discriminatory measures" against a group of 60 Palestinians who were arrested en masse. They had their right to a lawyer and to be told the charges they are facing, denied.

Mohammed Saleh Al-Khodari, 83, was appointed in 1993 as the first representative of the Hamas movement in the kingdom. While in detention he has partially lost the ability to move his right hand and is currently relying on his son, who is detained with him, to feed and help him.

In August, the Saudi criminal court issued sentences against a number of Palestinian and Jordanian detainees, ranging from acquittal to 22 years in prison.

READ: Normalisation and the betrayal of Palestine by Arab despots

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International OrganisationsIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineSaudi ArabiaUN
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