The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques
His Majesty Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
Office of His Majesty the King
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
I am writing to you regarding the case of the well-known Saudi Arabian human rights defender, Issa al-Hamid whose sentence has been upheld by the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh. Issa al-Hamid, a founding member of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), an independent human rights organization, learned on 28 February that his 11-year prison sentence has been upheld by the appeal division of the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) in the capital, Riyadh. The exact date of the decision is unknown but on 18 January the case was sent back to the Ministry of Interior for implementation of his sentence. He could be taken into custody at any time to start serving his sentence. If detained Amnesty International would consider him a prisoner of conscience.
I call upon the Saudi Arabian authorities to quash Issa al-Hamid’s conviction, ensuring that he is not detained, as he has been sentenced solely for the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and association and to conduct a prompt, impartial, independent and effective investigation into his allegations of ill-treatment while in custody. I am also calling on the authorities to ensure that the criminal justice system is not misused to target or harass human rights defenders.