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Saudi Arabia Refers Lojain Hathloul and Number of Prisoners of Conscience to Trial in "Terrorism Court"

2019-03-02 - 10:00 p

Bahrain Mirror: Saudi authorities announced on Friday that they concluded investigations with a number of "prisoners of conscience", noting that they are currently working on the preparation of regulations against the defendants to refer them to the "competent criminal court" of terrorism.

The authorities did not mention the names of these detainees, but the "Prisoners of Conscience" account, which is interested in publishing the news of detainees in Saudi prisons, mentioned their names through "Twitter".

The account said that the Saudi authorities announced concluding what they called "investigations" with the detainees of the Ramadan campaign and their imminent referral to the "competent criminal court" of terrorism, adding that the referred to in the statement of the public prosecution are: Lojain Hathloul, Eman Al-Nafjan, Aziza Al-Yousef, Mohammed A-Rabiah and Abedulaziz Al-Mashaal.

"Following up on the previous statement issued by the Public Prosecutor dated 17/9/1439, regarding the arrest of individuals by the Presidency of State Security (...) the Public Prosecution would like to announce that it has concluded its investigation and prepared the indictment list against the defendants in this case, and will refer the case to the relevant court. The Public Prosecutor would like to affirm that all detainees in this case enjoy all rights preserved by the laws in the Kingdom," Saudi Press Agency said.

The new public prosecution decision comes despite the European Union's call last week to the Saudi authorities to release activists who have been detained in the past years, only because they have criticized the kingdom's policies.

Lojain Hathloul, who was arrested in May last year, was among the activists. She is one of several Saudi women activists who have been demanding more rights for the Saudi women, including driving cars, which was approved by the Kingdom last year.

Human rights reports show that the former advisor to the Royal Court, Saud Al-Qahtani, was present at one of the interrogation sessions of Hathloul, and he personally supervised her torture, threatened to rape her, kill, cut and put her in the sewage, as it was done to journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Over the past two years, the kingdom has witnessed the largest campaign of arrests which targeted hundreds of human rights activists, who have tried to express their opinion, which opposes changes in Saudi Arabia, amid human rights demands to uncover their fate and provide justice to them.

These detainees were subjected to the most severe physical and moral violations, including torture, solitary confinement and travel ban imposed on their family members. About 5 were killed in prisons, and others were released after suffering mental illnesses due to severe torture, amid terrible secrecy by government authorities.

Arabic Version