Qatari student arbitrarily detained since July 2018 arrest in Mecca

Qatari student arbitrarily detained since July 2018 arrest in Mecca

Qatari student Abdulaziz Abdulla was arrested on July 6, 2018 by Al Mabahith State Security Forces, who raided his house in the Al Awali neighbourhood in Aziziyah, Mecca. He was then taken to the Saudi State Security prosecution office for interrogation. Abdulla’s fate and whereabouts remained unknown until January 2019, when the Saudi authorities confirmed that he was being held in a prison in Riyadh. On March 2, 2020, Abdulla was transferred to Abha prison where he was held in solitary confinement. He was allowed one weekly phone call to his family until August 24, 2020, when his relatives last heard from him. On November 25, 2020, he was allowed again to call his family from Abha prison.
Latest Updates
November 25, 2020: Abdulla is allowed to call his family.
November 13, 2020: MENA Rights Group submits his case to UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances.

August 24, 2020: Abdulla’s family receives his last call from Abha prison.
March 2, 2020: Abdulla is transferred to Abha prison and allowed weekly calls to his family.
November 12, 2019: MENA Rights Group submits case to the UNESCO.
April 17, 2019: UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education and UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention send letter to Saudi authorities requesting clarifications on Abdullah’s case.
January 1, 2019: Saudi government responds to UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, stating that he is being held in the prison of the General Directorate of Investigation in Riyadh.
November 8, 2018: MENA Rights Group submits case to UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances.
September, 2018: Seen at the Saudi State Security prosecution office.
July 6, 2018: Arrested by Al Mabahith State Security Forces.

On July 6, 2018, Al Mabahith State Security Forces, dressed in both civilian clothes and uniform, raided the flat of Abdulaziz Abdulla in Al Awali neighbourhood in Aziziyah, Mecca. They confiscated his passport, his birth certificate and registration documents. The security forces then arrested him and took him to Saudi State Security prosecution office. This is where he was last been seen by witnesses, who want to remain anonymous due to fear of reprisals.

Between September and November 2018, Abdulla’s family sought the help of the Qatari National Human Rights Commission, the Qatari Foreign Ministry, the Qatari Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, but to no avail.

On January 1, 2019, the Saudi authorities responded to UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, stating that Abdullah is being held in the prison of the General Directorate of Investigation in Riyadh. In April, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education and UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention also intervened by sending a letter to the Saudi authorities asking for clarifications on the case.

Abdulla was denied his right to receive family visits and had not been officially informed of the charges against him.

On March 2, 2020, he was transferred to Abha prison where he was placed in solitary confinement. From then on, he was allowed to call his family every week for 10 minutes. On August 24, 2020, Abdulla called his family for the last time from Abha prison. Since then, his family has not heard from him.

In September and October 2020, his family tried to call him back on the numbers from which he used to call in Abha prison, but the prison authorities denied detaining him. In October and November 2020, his family tried to call the office of the director of the State Security Forces, but they refused to provide any information on his whereabouts.

On November 13, 2020, MENA Rights Group submitted his case to UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, urging them to call on the Saudi authorities to clarify his fate and whereabouts.

On November 25, 2020, Abdulla was allowed to call his family again for five minutes from Abha prison.