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The European Saudi Society for Human Rights (ESSHR) worries about Tariq Al-Mubarak’s arrest, where he is still held by the Saudi authority for the fourth day. Al-Mubarak is a high school teacher, a civil right defender and a writer in the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
While there is no clear reason of Al-Mubarak’s arrest nor officially declared, ESSHR hopes it is not related to his activities in the media, especially latest articles as:
- When the mob’s threat, 27 October 2013:
- Women in the Gulf …Time for change, 05 October 2013
It could be also related to his discussion about “Drive 26 October” campaign published YouTube:
Such an arrest by the Saudi authority is clearly violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19 “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers” and also violates article 32 in the Arab Charter On Human Rights which states “the present Charter guarantees the right to information and to freedom of opinion and expression, as well as the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any medium, regardless of geographical boundaries”, which approved by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 16/04/2009.
Since it is been four days since the arrest of Al-Mubarak, we confirm his right to counsel, according to Article 4 of Law of Criminal Procedure “Any accused person shall have the right to seek the assistance of a lawyer or a representative to defend him during the investigation and trial stages”, we also demand his release, as guaranteed by Article 120 of Law of Criminal Procedure “An Investigator in charge of the case may, at any time, whether of his own accord or pursuant to a request by the accused, issue an order for the release of such accused, if he considers that there is no sufficient justification for his detention, that his release would not impair the investigation, and that there is no fear of his flight or disappearance, provided that the accused undertakes to appear when summoned”, especially since Al-Mubarak went voluntarily to the authority after receiving a request.
Controlling and monitoring the freedom of expression in Saudi violates their repot which was declared in Oct 21 2013, in its second report of periodic review in Geneva. The report states, in section B, “Combating discrimination and promoting freedom of opinion and expression” part of its effort in “protection and promotion of human rights on the ground”.
In section 27, it states “the Kingdom’s laws guarantee freedom of expression and of opinion to every human being and protection for other rights, human rights being interdependent and interrelated, in such a way as to have no adverse impact on giving effect to this right. Hence, they adopt the principle of formally restricting freedom of expression in conformity with the relevant international standards. Article 39 of the Basic Law of Governance thus requires the media and all other vehicles of expression to employ courteous language and prohibits whatever might undermine human dignity and rights. As monitoring of the media output shows, the latitude for freedom of expression has become noticeably broader during the last three years in particular. Various measures have been taken to promote freedom of opinion and expression, including support for the publication of several newspapers, especially online, and the establishment of an independent radio and television authority and an independent public authority for the audiovisual media, which in turn encouraged the establishment of several television channels and radio stations. The King Abdulaziz centre for National Dialogue continues to hold discourses in which representatives from across the whole spectrum of society participate. The most recent of these was its sixth discourse entitled “Cultural activity on social networking sites”, in which users of such sites participated”.