Personal information

  • Sex: Male
  • Marital status: Married
  • Area of activity: Cleric

Sulaiman al-Dowaish is a conservative Islamic preacher who used to be widely followed on social media. He was arrested, disappeared and tortured in 2016 after criticising King Salman’s promotion of his son, now Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Al-Dowaish’s sons Abdulwahhab, Abdulrahman and Malik have all spent periods in jail as punishment for trying to find out what has happened to their father, who remains forcibly disappeared.

Arrest and jail information

  • Date of arrest: 22 April 2016
  • Manner of arrest: Mohammed bin Salman arrested him by forces of the Ministry of Defence and Aviation, of which he was the minister. Later, after ousting his cousin and taking control of the Ministry of Interior and its facilities, Mohammed bin Salman had him moved into the Mabahith (secret police) prison system. It was not long before al-Dowaish disappeared from sight, and nothing further has been heard of him, or about his health or whereabout

Trial information

  • Charges: Arrested after posting tweets in which he seemed to criticise King Salman for giving his son Mohammad bin Salman so much power, by making him his own deputy as Prime Minister and appointing him as Crown Prince and Defence Minister.


  • Arbitrary arrest/ detention ,
  • Enforced disappearance ,
  • Denied contact with family ,
  • Denied access to a lawyer ,
  • Torture and ill-treatment

Violation details

Following al-Dowaish's arrest, he was then flown to Riyadh by night and taken to a royal palace. There he was questioned by a high-ranking official about his tweet and severely beaten until he was drenched in blood and others had to intervene for fear he would be killed. He was tortured on several further occasions. The prison where al-Dowaish was interrogated and tortured was located in the basement of the palace, and made up of makeshift wooden cells containing torture equipment.


  • 01 September 2020 - ALQST learnt that he was subject to torture and ill treatment. 
  • September 2018 - His family received another call from the United States, repeating a similar story.   
  • July 2018 - The last reported sighting of al-Dowaish was in a detention cell in a royal palace. Nothing has been heard of him or his state of health or whereabouts since then; he remains forcibly disappeared. 
  • Early 2018 - His family received a phone call from a US number in which the caller, who sounded like al-Dowaish, claimed he was in Turkey on his way to fight in Syria. When his family contacted the authorities again and challenged this story, they received conflicting information. Whereas a low-ranking Ministry of Interior official said al-Dowaish had been convicted on charges including “inciting public opinion”, this was denied by a higher-ranking official. 
  • Mid-2016 - Around two months after al-Dowaish’s arrest, his name was added to the Ministry of Interior’s online database of detainees. However, when his family called a senior official to inquire about him, they were told that this was a mistake, and they should look for him in a hospital, morgue or mental asylum. 
  • 22 April 2016 - Al-Dowaish was arrested at a hotel in Mecca after posting tweets in which he was seen as criticising King Salman for giving his son Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), then Deputy Crown Prince, too many powers without accountability. 

Other prisoners


Asaad alghamdi


ِAbbas al-Saeed



Sukaynah al-Aithan


Fahad Ramadan


Sarah al-Jar