ALQST has learned from reliable sources that activist Abdullah al-Mubaraki was arrested by the Saudi authorities on 22 July and has been forcibly disappeared since then.
Al-Mubaraki, 44, was arrested by officials believed to be from the Mabaheth (secret police), part of the Presidency of State Security, following a raid on his home in the city of Yanbu. After being arrested he was taken to an unknown location and denied any contact with his family. His fate and whereabouts remain unknown.
The reason for these measures is also unknown but appears to be linked to his peaceful activism on social media, including calls for civil and political rights.
In Saudi Arabia the practice of enforced disappearance is part of a larger pattern of arbitrary arrests of people exercising their right to free speech and other fundamental rights, followed by shorter or longer periods of disappearance before the victims resurface to face trial. Sometimes these disappearances last a very long time, raising concerns for the safety and even lives of the victims.
In the past few months alone, several others have been arbitrarily arrested and disappeared in Saudi Arabia after peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression online, including physician Lina Alsharif and blogger Abdullah Gilan.
ALQST calls on the Saudi authorities to immediately disclose the fate and whereabouts of Abdullah al-Mubaraki and others forcibly disappeared, and to immediately and unconditionally release all those arbitrarily arrested for expressing their opinions. ALQST calls for pressure to be brought to bear on the authorities to end these practices, and for them to be held fully accountable for the victims’ well-being.