Jordanian journalist Abdelrahman Farhaneh detained in Saudi Arabia since February 2019

Jordanian journalist Abdelrahman Farhaneh detained in Saudi Arabia since February 2019

On February 22, 2019, Abdelrahman Farhaneh – a journalist for the Jordanian Al Sabeel newspaper as well as other Saudi newspapers – was arrested by members of the Saudi State Security Service at a checkpoint close to Dammam airport while on his way to Jeddah. He was enforcedly disappeared until June 15, 2019. In 2020, under the pretext of the Covid-19 pandemic, he was placed once again in solitary confinement for six months. On March 8, 2020, Farhaneh was presented before the Saudi Public Prosecution with charges brought against him. His first hearing took place on March 10, 2020 before the Saudi Specialized Criminal Court, that on August 8, 2021, sentenced him to 19 years in prison. He is currently detained in Dammam prison.

On February 22, 2019, Abdulrahman Farhaneh was on his way to Dammam airport to travel to Jeddah when he was stopped at a checkpoint just before the airport controlled by the Saudi State Security Service.

Farhaneh was arrested and taken back to his home, where the officers searched his belongings for two hours, confiscating his mobile phone and laptop before taking him to an unknown location.

Witnesses of the arrest asked the State Security forces about the reason for his arrest, but they replied only by saying that he was "suspicious".

The State Security forces did not allow Farhaneh to take medicine with him which he needs to take on a daily basis for his high blood pressure, diabetes and cerebral ischemia.

After being disappeared for four months, during which he was held in solitary confinement, Farhaneh was allowed to make a phone call to his family and inform them that he was being detained in Dammam prison. Farhaneh had not been charged and remained detained without trial. Relatives state that Farhaneh has been subjected to psychological and physical ill-treatment and is suffering from poor health.

In 2020, under the pretext of the Covid-19 pandemic, Farhaneh was placed once again in solitary confinement for six months.

On March 8, 2020, Farhaneh was presented before the Saudi Public Prosecution with charges brought against him, which included “belonging to a terrorist entity or aiding a terrorist entity.” His first hearing took place on March 10, 2020, before the Saudi Specialised Criminal Court which on August 8, 2021, sentenced him to 19 years in prison.

 

Timeline

August 8, 2021: Farhaneh is sentenced to 19 years.
March 10, 2020: Farhaneh is presented for a first hearing before the Saudi Specialised Criminal Court.
March 8, 2020: Farhaneh is presented before the Public Prosecutor with charges brought against him.
2020: Farhaneh is placed again in solitary confinement for six months under the pretext of the Covid-19 pandemic.
June 15, 2019: Farhaneh calls his family and informs them that he is being held in Dammam prison.
May 13, 2019: The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances sends a copy of the communication to the Jordanian authorities.
May 10, 2019: The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances sends a communication to the Saudi authorities requesting them to clarify Farhanenh’s fate and whereabouts.
April 25, 2019: MENA Rights Group requests intervention of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.
April 22, 2019: Family reports arrest to the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Jordanian Syndicate of Journalists, the latter of which Farhaneh is a member.
March 8, 2019: Family reports the arrest to the Saudi Public Prosecutor in Riyadh.
March 1, 2019: Family enquires about his whereabouts at the headquarters of State Security Service in Riyadh.
February 22, 2019: Arrested at a checkpoint close to Dammam airport.

Related