Sulieman al-Rushudi and others

Re: Sulieman al-Rushudi and others

To: King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, His Royal Highness Prince Naif bin ‘Abdul’Aziz Al-Saud

From: Darlene D.R. Kavka, member of LRWC

Date: 2007-02-24

I am a lawyer practicing law in the Province of British Columbia, Canada and a member of the Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada. I write to you today on a matter of grave and urgent concern.

It has come to my attention that on February 3, 2007, at least ten people, including those named above, were arrested in the cities of Jeddah and Madinah. The information available to me indicates that the above named prisoners are being held without specific charges and without the ability to communicate with either their families or legal counsel. There does not appear to be any bona fide reason for their arrest. They are prisoners of conscience who have been removed from their lives and loved ones in response to their peaceful and legal defence of human rights.

Given that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been a member of the United Nations since October 1945 and is a Signatory Nation of numerous international human rights treaties, I implore you to investigate this human rights violation and do what you can to ensure the immediate release of these prisoners. It is clear from the facts of this situation that certain basic United Nations principles are not being adhered to.

I am concerned that the United Nations Non-Treaty Standards are not being followed in relation to the detention of the above prisoners. The UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, the BODY OF PRINCIPLES FOR PROTECTION OF ALL PERSONS UNDER ANY FORM OF DETENTION, the BASIC PRINCIPLES ON THE ROLE OF LAWYERS all appear to have been ignored in relation to the above named detainees.

Two of the above named prisoners, Sulaiman al-Rashudi and Essam al-Basrawi are lawyers. Others among the above named detainees are doctors and professors. These men are dedicated Human Rights defenders working for the betterment of your Kingdom. These brave people are priceless intellectual treasures to your Kingdom and their safety and protection ought to be of paramount concern to you. I implore you to see to it that they are all returned to their lives and families unharmed.

In the eyes of the world, Saudi Arabia is seen as an emerging leader amongst Arab Nations, in terms of its declared tolerance and specific commitment to improving human rights conditions.

This indefensible detainment of the above named detainees is a stain on Saudi Arabia. I again implore you to right the wrong that is being committed against these courageous human rights defenders and ensure their immediate and safe release.