University graduate Abdullah Jelan disappeared in Medina

University graduate Abdullah Jelan disappeared in Medina

On May 12, 2021, Abdullah Jelan, a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvannia, was abducted by State Security forces in Medina. At around 8 pm that day, a convoy of six cars and 20 people suddenly arrived at Jelan’s mother’s house and proceeded to search the house before arresting Jelan and taking him to an unknown location. Prior to his arrest, Jelan had been vocal on Twitter, where he had advocated for his right to a job and fundamental freedoms in Saudi Arabia. To date, his fate and whereabouts remain unknown.

On May 12, 2021, Abdullah Jelan was at his mother’s house in the Shadhah district of Medina. At around 8 pm that day, six cars with around 20 people suddenly arrived at the house. The individuals who conducted the arrest were armed and not wearing uniforms, but are believed to belong to the State Security forces. They searched the house and then proceeded to arrest Jelan. Jelan was taken to an unknown location. The individuals who conducted the arrest returned to Jelan’s mother's house that same night and retrieved his prescribed medication. 

Jelan had been vocal on Twitter, advocating through an anonymous account for his right to a job and the respect of fundamental freedoms in Saudi Arabia. Jelan may have been identified based on photos present on his Twitter account, which were then used by Saudi State Security forces to locate him and arrest him. According to sources close to Jelan, he was taken to the State Security prison in Medina after his arrest, before being transferred to Dhahban prison in Jeddah. However this information is yet to be confirmed. 

On May 28, 2021, MENA Rights Group filed his case with the the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, urging it to call on the Saudi authorities to clarify Jelan's fate and whereabouts.

Timeline

May 28, 2021: MENA Rights Group requests the urgent intervention of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.
May 12, 2021: Abdullah Jelan is abducted from his mother's house in Medina.

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