Today marks the four-year anniversary of the arbitrary detention and forced disappearance of Saudi humanitarian aid worker and online activist Abdulrahman al-Sadhan. Throughout these four years, Abdulrahman’s sister, human rights activist Areej al-Sadhan, and his family have been tirelessly advocating for his immediate and unconditional release, along with a coalition of organizations, including the Human Rights Foundation (HRF). HRF remains committed in its calls for Abdulrahman al-Sadhan’s freedom, and calls on the international community to speak out against his sentence and call for his release.
Abdulrahman was arbitrarily detained in March 2018 and was forcibly disappeared for three years, where he allegedly endured torture and other forms of ill-treatment, including electric shocks, beating and prolonged solitary confinement. He was targeted as part of a crackdown on peaceful activists, government critics, and online commentators in Saudi Arabia. The charges against him were in connection with tweets from a parody Twitter account that criticized the Saudi regime’s repression.
On April 5, 2021, he was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment, followed by a 20-year travel ban. The Saudi officials continued to deny him any contact with his family or legal counsel. On May 4, 2021, Abdulrahman filed an appeal to his sentence, and his family was informed that he will not be permitted to have any communication with them until his hearing date. After another series of sham secret trials in which he continued to be barred from legal counsel, the sentence was upheld on October 5, 2021. His family submitted an appeal of the verdict to the Saudi supreme court in early November. Since October 5th, Abdulrahman has been under enforced disappearance again, and his family has remained unaware of his well being and where he is being held, and are still waiting on a response from the supreme court.
Join HRF’s call for Abdulrahman’s immediate and unconditional release.