Saudi Arabia: Prisoner of Conscience Dr. Abdullah Al-Hamid Dies while in Detention
2020-04-25 - 9:44 am
Bahrain Mirror: Commenting on the reports of the death of Dr. Abdullah Al-Hamid, a prisoner of conscience who died while in custody in Saudi Arabia, Lynn Maalouf, Director of Research for the Middle East at Amnesty International, said: "We were shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Dr. Abdullah Al-Hamid while in detention because of his peaceful activities."
"Dr. Al-Hamid was a valued human rights defender in Saudi Arabia, and he was determined to build a better world for all. We extend our hearts and prayers to his family and friends, who for the past eight years have been deprived of his presence with them as a result of the inhuman repression of the state."
Lynn Maalouf called on "the Saudi authorities once again to release, immediately and unconditionally, all those still in prison simply for the peaceful exercise of their human rights."
Dr. Abdullah Al-Hamed, 69, is a founding member of the Society for Civil and Political Rights in Saudi Arabia (Hasm). The association - its motto "Know Your Rights" - was committed to promoting the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other international treaties and standards.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Hamid was suffering from high blood pressure, and the doctor told him, three months ago, that he needed surgery in the heart. Prison authorities have threatened him that if he tells his family about his health, he will sever his contact with his family.
On April 9, Dr. Abdullah Al-Hamid suffered a stroke and remained in detention, despite suffering from a coma in the intensive care unit in Al-Shemaisi Hospital in Riyadh.
As a human rights defender, writer and academic, he has written extensively on human rights and the independence of the judiciary. He also worked as a professor of contemporary literature at the Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, before being dismissed for his activities. He left behind a wife and eight children.
Dr. Al-Hamid has been tried repeatedly for his peaceful work since 1993. In March 2012, Dr. Al-Hamid and Muhammad Al-Qahtani, who is also one of the founding members of the "Hasm" Association, were arrested and interrogated about their work with the "Hasm" Association, and their peaceful activities. In March 2013, they were sentenced to 11 and 10 years in prison, respectively, for "departing from the guardian", "publicly defaming officials and their integrity", and "undermining community security and inciting to violate the regime by calling for demonstrations," And "inciting international organizations to the Kingdom."