Saudi Arabia Joint letter on Waleed Abu al-Khair
Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) and the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA) called on the authorities of Saudi Arabia to immediately release lawyer Waleed Abu al – Khair. Waleed Abu al – Khair was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2014.
Waleed Abu al-Khair is a human rights lawyer, Fand ounder and Director of the Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (MHRSA). The application to register the organisation as a human rights NGO was rejected. Abu al-Khair also acted as lawyer of the prominent human rights defender Raif Badawi. In 2012, he was awarded the Olof Palme Prize for human rights for his “strong, self-sacrificing and sustained struggle to promote respect for human and civil rights for both men and women in Saudi Arabia”.
In February 2015 the court confirmed his earlier sentence from 6 July 2014, of 15 years in prison, a travel ban of equal duration following imprisonment, and a fine of SR 200,000,- (approximately EUR 47,000,-). The charges against him are, amongst others, “striving to overthrow the state and the authority of the King”, “criticising and insulting the judiciary” and “assembling international organisations against the Kingdom”.
According to our information, Waleed Abu al-Khair’s health has been deteriorating while in prison.
L4L, LRWC and the UIA called on the Saudi authorities to immediately release Waleed Abu al – Khair and to provide him with the medical care and treatment he requires while in prison.
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