Saudi Arabia: Incommunicado detention of Messrs. Ahmed Al-Mshikhs and Essam Koshak

12/01/2017
Urgent Appeal

URGENT APPEAL - THE OBSERVATORY

SAU 001 / 0117 / OBS 003
Incommunicado detention
Saudi Arabia
January 12, 2017

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Saudi Arabia.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arrest and incommunicado detention of Messrs. Ahmed Al-Mshikhs, co-founder of Al-Adalah Centre for Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, known for promoting protect civil and political rights in the country, and Essam Koshak, a prominent voice on issues of corruption and freedom of expression in Saudi Arabia.

According to the information received, on January 5, 2017, Mr. Ahmed Al-Mshikhs was summoned by the Criminal Investigation Department in Al-Qatif. On arrival, he was arrested and detained in Al-Qatif police prison for unknown reasons. On January 8, 2017, he was transferred to the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution in Al-Dammam. As of January 12, 2017, he remained held in Al-Dammam general prison without charge, pending further investigation.

On January 8, 2017 the Criminal Investigation Department in Mecca summoned Mr. Essam Koshak. On arrival, he was arrested for unknown reasons and detained in Al-Mansour police station until late evening hours before being released and ordered to appear before the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution in Mecca the next day. On January 9, 2017, he presented himself to the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution in Mecca and was re-arrested. On January 10, 2017, the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution in Mecca extended his detention for another four days without charge, pending further investigation.

As of publication of this appeal, both defenders had no access to their lawyers.

The Observatory condemns the incommunicado detention of Messrs. Ahmed Al-Mshikhs and Essam Koshak as it appears to be a form of retaliation for their legitimate human rights activities, and urges the authorities in Saudi Arabia to immediately and unconditionally release them.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Saudi Arabia and ask them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Messrs. Ahmed Al-Mshikhs and Essam Koshak and all human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia;

ii. Release immediately and unconditionally Messrs. Ahmed Al-Mshikhs and Essam Koshak as their detention is arbitrary since it only seems to aim at sanctioning their human rights activities;

iii. Guarantee the access of Messrs. Ahmed Al-Mshikhs and Essam Koshak to their lawyers;

iv. Put an end to all acts of harassment - including at the judicial level - against Messrs. Ahmed Al-Mshikhs and Essam Koshak and all human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia;

v. Conform in any circumstances with the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the UN General Assembly, in particular its Articles 1, 6, 8, 9 and 12.2;

vi. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights instruments ratified by Saudi Arabia.

Addresses:

· His Majesty, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, Fax: (via Ministry of the Interior) +966 11 403 3125; Email: info@moi.gov.sa
· H.E. Waleed bin Mohammad Al Samaani, Minister of Justice, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Fax: + 966 11 401 1741 / + 966 11 402 0311 / +966114055399
· His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Minister of Interior, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Fax: +966 11 403 3125; Email: info@moi.gov.sa
· H.E. Adel bin Ahmed El Jubeir, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fax: +966114030645; Email: info@mofa.gov.sa
· H.E. Abdulaziz Alwasil, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland. Fax: +41 22 758 00 00. Email: saudiamission@bluewin.ch
· H.E. Abdulrahman bin Soliman Al-Ahmed, Ambassador, Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Brussels, Belgium. Fax: +32 2 6468538. Email: beemb@mofa.gov.sa

Please also write to diplomatic representations of Saudi Arabia in your respective countries.

***
Paris-Geneva, January 12, 2017

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, an FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of human rights defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
· Email: Appeals[at]fidh-omct.org
· Tel and fax FIDH: +33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / 01 43 55 18 80
· Tel and fax OMCT: + 41 22 809 49 39 / 41 22 809 49 29

Read more
appelobs