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Back Activities Alerts Action Alert: Saudi Arabia – Urge the release of the Al Qaid relatives from Saudi prison

Action Alert: Saudi Arabia – Urge the release of the Al Qaid relatives from Saudi prison

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Mr. Omar Al Qaid along with his brother and uncle held without charge and subjected to torture.

Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action Required
4. Sample letter
5. Addresses for sample letters

1. Summary

Two brothers and an uncle have now been arbitrarily detained by Saudi officials since 2003, 2005 and 2010. They have been subjected to brutality and held in solitary confinement at times throughout their imprisonment. The three men and their families have been given little to no information as to why any of them were forcefully taken and detained for this long. The Saudi regime cannot continue to lock its citizens up with no evidence or justification as they destroy families and lives at a whim.

2. Background

On 28 November 2010, Mr. Omar Al Qaid, a 28 year old IT student, was arrested while eating breakfast in Al Quds restaurant in his hometown of Sakaka. The agents blindfolded and handcuffed him and dragged him to his home where they confiscated electronic equipment. He was then taken to an unknown destination during which time his family heard nothing of Omar for a month. When they finally visited him he was in Dhahban prison, south-east of Jeddah, and had evidently been tortured. He had been severely interrogated regarding his contact with an external human rights organisation. Omar recounted being beaten, forced to remain standing for several days at a time and deprived of sleep. For his family, this was the third time they have had to endure the mistreatment and torture of a loved one.

In October 2005, Omar’s brother, Faiz Al Qaid was arrested in Riyadh with no explanation. A similar process then followed where he was taken 700 km to his home and his computer was confiscated. After two months of isolation, his family were finally allowed to visit him in Al Alisha detention centre where he remains to this day. Faiz, like his brother Omar, was tortured severely and family visits were made increasingly difficult. He has still not been informed of the charges against him and obtaining any form of legal representation has been impossible. Faiz’s detention has been ongoing with no sign of end for the past 7 years. 

Only two years prior to Faiz’s arrest, his uncle Majeed Al Qaid was similarly arrested and has since been locked up with no charges. The UN Working Group of Arbitrary Detention issued Opinions stating the clear violation of the human rights of these men. The Saudi government has failed to respond or even acknowledge these illegal acts.

3. Action Required

Write to the following authorities requesting to urge the Saudi government to immediately release the three Al Qaid relatives:

a) Minister of foreign affairs in your country, urging him/her to raise this issue with his/her Saudi counterpart. UK campaigners will find the appropriate address, fax and email on the sample letter below.

b) Human Rights department of the Arab League. Campaigners will find the appropriate email address on the sample letter below.

4. Sample letter ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A sample letter is given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.
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a. Minister of foreign affairs in your country. (UK campaigners can write using the address supplied below, fax: +44 (0)20 7839 2417 or email: private.office@fco.gov.uk)

[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

Rt. Hon. William Hague
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London, SW1A 2AH

Dear Mr. Hague,

Re: The illegal detention of three men from the Al-Qaid family in Saudi Arabia

I write to you out of concern for the ongoing arbitrary detention of Saudi civilians that is occurring at the hands of the Saudi regime. I bring to your attention three men from the Al Qaid family, two brothers and an uncle, who have been imprisoned, tortured and held without charge since 2003, 2005 and 2010.

The most recent brother, Mr. Omar Al Qaid, was arrested in late November 2010 while eating in a restaurant in his hometown of Sakaka. The agents blindfolded and handcuffed him and dragged him to his home where they confiscated electronic equipment. He was then taken to an unknown destination during which time his family heard nothing of him for a month. When they finally visited him he was in Dhahban prison, south-east of Jeddah. Omar recounted being severely interrogated, beaten, forced to remain standing for several days at a time and deprived of sleep. For his family, this is the third time they have had to endure the mistreatment and torture of a loved one. 

Both Omar’s brother and uncle, Faiz and Majeed, were subjected to the same treatment when they were arrested in 2005 and 2003, respectively. All three men remain locked up in prison to this day, have been tortured and are left without the opportunity for legal representation while still not being informed of what charges they are held under.  

I urge you to call on your Saudi counterparts to look into the matter and arrange for their immediate release. This ongoing, arbitrary detention of individuals must not be tolerated by the British government who claims to stand for justice. Please call on the Saudi government to provide the three Al-Qaid relatives with their basic human rights and release them from this illegal, ongoing imprisonment.

I look forward to hearing back from you regarding this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,



[Your signature]
[Your name]
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b. The Human Rights Department of the Arab League. (Campaigners can write using the email: humanrights.dept@las.int)
[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

Dear Sir/Madame,

Re: The illegal detention of three men from the Al-Qaid family in Saudi Arabia

I write to you out of concern for the ongoing arbitrary detention of Saudi civilians that is occurring at the hands of the Saudi regime. I bring to your attention three men from the Al Qaid family, two brothers and an uncle, who have been imprisoned, tortured and held without charge since 2003, 2005 and 2010. As you are likely aware, this case transpires within the context of Saudi Arabia’s ongoing and unacceptable arbitrary detainment of their own people.

The most recent brother, Mr. Omar Al Qaid, was arrested in late November 2010 while eating in a restaurant in his hometown of Sakaka. The agents blindfolded and handcuffed him and dragged him to his home where they confiscated electronic equipment. He was then taken to an unknown destination during which time his family heard nothing of him for a month. When they finally visited him he was in Dhahban prison, south-east of Jeddah. Omar recounted being severely interrogated, beaten, forced to remain standing for several days at a time and deprived of sleep. For his family, this is the third time they have had to endure the mistreatment and torture of a loved one. 

Both Omar’s brother and uncle, Faiz and Majeed, were subjected to the same treatment when they were arrested in 2005 and 2003, respectively. All three men remain locked up in prison to this day, have been tortured and are left without the opportunity for legal representation while still not informed of what charges they are held under.  

As a prominent department within the Arab League, I ask the Human Rights group to immediately demand the release of the Al Qaid relatives by the Saudi government. This ongoing and internationally illegal detention of individuals must not be tolerated. Please call on the Saudi government to provide the men with their basic human rights and release them immediately.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name]
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5. Addresses for sample letters

a) Minister of foreign affairs in Canada.

Canadian campaigners can write to:

Minister of Foreign Affairs – John Baird
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON, Canada
K1A 0G2

Telephone:  613-995-1851

b) Minister for Foreign Affairs in Australia

Australian campaigners can write to:

The Hon Kevin Rudd MP
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Telephone: 02 6277 7500

c) Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia

Indonesian campaigners can write to:

Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa
Jl. Pejambon No.6.
Jakarta Pusat, 10110
Indonesia

Telephone: (+62 21) 344 15 08

d) Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia

Malaysian campaigners can write to:

Honourable Dato' Sri Anifah Hj. Aman
Wisma Putra, No 1, Jalan Wisma Putra,
Precint 2, 62602 PUTRAJAYA

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