Letter from CDHRAP to Amnesty International on Discrimination Against Shias

  • News Code : 189253
Regarding the human rights conditions in Saudi Arabia , the committee for the Defense of Human Rights in the Arabian Peninsula (CDHRAP) respectfully urges you to raise concerns about religious freedom and related human rights.

Ahlul Bayt News Agency (ABNA.ir), The chair of the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in the Arabian Peninsula Mr. Mohammad Abul Azeem al-Hussain sent a letter to the Amnesty International urging it to raise pressing concerns about religious freedom in Saudi Arabia and to press the Saudi Arabian authorities to release the religious prisoners in Saudi Arabia .

The complete text of the letter follows:

Dear Amnesty International ,

Regarding the human rights conditions in Saudi Arabia , the committee for the Defense of Human Rights in the Arabian Peninsula (CDHRAP) respectfully urges you to raise concerns about religious freedom and related human rights.

The Saudi government continued to commit abuses against members of the Shi'a minority.

Despite Saudi government claims undertaking some limited reform measures , the Saudi government marginalizes and systematically discriminates against the Shia community in the country through implementation the policy of discrimination , and persists in banning all forms of public religious expression other than that of the government’s own interpretation of one school of Sunni Islam and even interferes with private religious practice. 

The members of the Shi'a Muslim community suffer systematic political, social, cultural as well as religious discrimination.

In this letter , I would like to draw your attention to three specific cases. 

1- Munir Baqir Ebrahim Al-Jassas, 30 years , a Shi'a human rights defender in Awwamiyah of al-Qatif , was still held in solitary confinement for seven months the intelligence service in Al-Dammam . 

Al-Mahbahith al-'Amma (General Investigations) of al-Qatif summoned Munir Baqir Ebrahim Al-Jassas on November 7, 2009, and held him in solitary confinement under the charge of criticizing the ill-treatment of Saudi government against Shiites through his website “Tahara” .

Some members of al-Mahbahith al-'Amma raided Al-Jassas's house  and confiscated his personal possessions .

Al-Jassas has had no access to legal assistance following his arrest , and has not been kept informed of charges against him .

2-  The citizen (Reza Abdul Aziz al-Ghasham ) 23 years , from the town of al-Mobarraz in al-Ahsa , was detained on 8 June 2008 when some members of al-Mahbahith al-'Amma raided his bookshop , arrested him under the charge of trading Shi'a religious books.

Saudi authorities called his wife and subjected her to a long investigation. His father Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Ghasham (a prominent Shiite religious scholar , Imam al-Montazar mosque in al-mobarraz town of al-Ahsa ) visited him for one time , and saw the signs of torture on his son's body.

His family was not informed of the reasons of his arrest , also was denied family visit.

3- The Government continued to detain nine of Shi'a citizens ( Hani Abdul Rahim al-Saygh , al-Qatif / Sihat ; Abdullah Ahmad al-Jarrash , al-Qatif  / al-Qala'a ; Hussain Moghayis , al-Qatif / al-Bahari ; Abdul Karim Hussein al-Nemer  ,  al-Dammam , al-Ahsa ; Sayyid Mostafa alQassab , al-Qatif  / Mayyas ; Sayyid Fadhel al-Alawi , al-Qatif / al-Jaroudiyah ; Mustafa Ja`far al-Mo`llim , al-Qatif / al-Jaroudiyah ; Ali al-Marhoon , al-Qatif / al-Jaroudiyah ; Salih Mahdi Ramadhan ,  al-Qatif /al-Jaroudiyah ) in al-Ha’ir prison over thirteen years . They have been arrested as suspects in the aftermath of the 1996 bombing of the U.S. military installation at al-Khobar bombing without charges or trial.

The Saudi authorities actions against the mentioned detainees infringe on internationally guaranteed rights of freedom of expression and religion . Universal Declaration of Human Rights protects the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion .

These actions breach also the Saudi Law of Criminal Procedure which its third Article stipulates that:

No penal punishment shall be imposed on any person except in connection with a forbidden and punishable act, whether under Shari’ah principles or under the statutory laws, and after he has been convicted pursuant to a final judgment rendered after a trial conducted in accordance with Shari’ah principles.

Also the Law of Interrogation Authority and Public Prosecution in Article 3 which says : Monitoring and inspection of prisons, detention centers and any places where criminal sentences are executed, as well as hearing complaints of prisoners and detainees, insuring the legality of their imprisonment or detention and the legality of their remaining in prison or the detention centers after the expiry of the period, taking necessary steps to release those imprisoned or detained without a legitimate cause and applying the law against those responsible for such action .

We urge you to press the Saudi Arabian authorities to release the remaining religious prisoners in Saudi Arabia on humanitarian grounds .


Sincerely ,
Mohammad Abul Azeem al-Hussain
CDHRAP chair

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