Home » Reports » An execution could be carried out by Saudi Arabia at any time against the businessman Abbas al-Hassan based on charges extracted under torture and a flawed trial

An execution could be carried out by Saudi Arabia at any time against the businessman Abbas al-Hassan based on charges extracted under torture and a flawed trial

Abbas al-Hassan

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Beside 14 other detainees, death penalty is threatening the life of the Saudi businessman Abbas Al Hassan, after the Supreme Court approved its verdicts in July 2017, along with 11 other defendants.

On June 2nd, 2013, 28 individuals were detained during a mass arrest, which Saudi government later said, they were charged for spying in favor of Iran. Al Hassan was arrested on his way back from work. Moreover, he was told that he is wanted to Saudi authority without explaining the reason. Also, he was taken home handcuffed where than the security forces proceeded to search his house without a warrant or having a legal title.

Al Hassan (July 31st, 1973) born in Jeddah, has established a corporation for import- export and tourism, also he has served as the Regional Director of the mechanism field unit in the Arab Bank. In addition to his work, Al Hassan was an active participant in social and religious activities, where he used to participate in occasions that aimed to convergence between sects and doctrines.

Al Hassan was detained in Al- Haer political prison in Riyadh. He was imposed to torture for three months. During that time, he was prevented from communicating with the outside world or meeting anyone. Furthermore, during the investigation, the security forces tied his hands and legs, covered his eyes, beaten him in sensitive areas of his body, and left his handcuffed and feet tied backward for a long period of time as well as subjected him to sleep deprivation.

The investigators number involved in Al Hassan case reached up to 14. They pressed him to make specific statements. The torture that he has experienced led to high blood pressure, hypertensive heart muscle in addition to vitamins deficiency. Also, Al-Hassan was threatened to arrest his family in case he did not sign confessions. After more than two months in solitary confinement, his family was allowed to visit him as they noticed the signs of torture on him. Two years later he was transferred to Al Mabahith prison in Jeddah.

Along with 32 other detainees, Al Hassan was charged with communicating with Iranian intelligence agents and cooperating with them to fulfill the Iranian intelligence interests, in which affects the security of Saudi Arabia. In addition, he was charged with meeting for several times with Iranian intelligence and providing information to them, recruiting individuals for spying in return for a monthly payment, and providing a financial support to clerics.

Al Hassan was unable to appoint a lawyer but only after his trial began, where the lawyers did not have adequate time to plead. In December 2016, Al Hassan was sentenced to death along with other 14 individuals, where in July 2017, the verdict was ratified.

ESOHR had followed the case of the individuals whom were charged with espionage for Iran, and documented the Saudi government violations of the local and international laws, since the mass arrest made until the time of issuing death sentences against them.

In addition, according to ESOHR’s follow-up, one of the charges filed against Al Hassan was related to his work, in which he met with the Iranian embassy in Riyadh because of his importation of goods from Iran.

ESOHR also speculates that the charges which related to the financial support of clerics is related to the religious and social activity in which al-Hasan was involved, together with Sheikh Mohammed al-Attiyah who also sentenced to death in the same case.

Based on that, ESOHR expresses its concern over the lives of Al Hassan and the other detainees of this case whom their death sentences were ratified. Also, As ESOHR notes the lack of independence of the justice system in Saudi Arabia and many of its shortcomings; it confirms that the trial process of Al Hassan did not include the conditions of justice, especially as he repeatedly assured the judge that he was forced to make specific statements, in which he was sentenced to death accordingly. Such process that the Saudi authority followed is a violation of international laws, mainly to the Convention against Torture which was sanctioned by Saudi Arabia.

ESOHR calls upon the Saudi government to retrial the detainee Abbas Al Hassan and all other detainees of this case, with a public trial to ensure the conditions of justice and its decision based on concrete evidence not on confession extracted under torture.

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