Personal information

  • Sex: Male
  • Marital status: Married
  • Date of birth: 12 July 1950
  • Profession: Academic , ACPRA member , Human rights activist
  • Place of residence: Riyadh

Co-founder of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA)

Arrest and jail information

  • Prison: Al-Ha’ir Prison, Riyadh
  • Date of arrest: 09 March 2013
  • Manner of arrest: Arrest ordered by the Specialised Criminal Court, Riyadh

Trial information

  • Charges: Co-founding an unlicensed civic association (ACPRA); seeking to undermine government policies; providing false information about the Saudi government to UN-related bodies; inciting international organisations against Saudi Arabia; turning public opinion against the security services and senior officials; questioning the integrity of the court
  • Court: Specialised Criminal Court (SCC)
  • Verdict: 11-year prison term and 5-year travel ban

Violations

  • Arbitrary arrest/ detention ,
  • Denied contact with family ,
  • Torture and ill-treatment ,
  • Denied access to healthcare

Violation details

Authorities deliberately placed him in unsuitable prisons as a means of harassment, such as one where none of the other prisoners spoke Arabic, and a prison holding inmates convicted of major criminal offences. They have not released him despite the spread of coronavirus, his advanced age, and his worsening state of health and repeatedly threatened and abused him in prison.

Awards

The 2018 Right Livelihood Award (jointly with Waleed Abu al-Khair and Mohammed al-Qahtani); The 2020 Geuzenpenning Award (jointly with his ACPRA colleagues); nominated for Nobel Prize.

Timeline

  • 23 April 2020 -  A-Hamid passed away at King Saud medical city.
  • 09 April 2020 - He was sent to the intensive care unit at the hospital after falling into a complete coma. He was in a critical condition after suffering a stroke while he was in Al-Ha'ir prison in Riyadh.  
  • Januray 2020 - He, who had hypertension, was advised by a doctor that he needed open-heart surgery, but "prison authorities threatened to cut off his contact with his family if he told his relatives about his condition."
  • 09 March 2013 - He was arrested for the sixth time after the Specialised Criminal Court issued its verdict in the ACPRA case, sentencing him to five years in prison on top of the remainder of a previous sentence, in a case involving al-Hamid and two other reformers, making a total of eleven years, plus a ban on foreign travel for a further five years. He was taken into custody that same day.  
  • 27 August 2008 - He was released along with his brother Issa, who had been sentenced over the same case to four months.
  • 08 March 2008 - He was arrested for the fifth time after voicing support for a peaceful sit-in held by women in Buraydah. He was sentenced to six months in detention. 
  • 28 March 2003 - He was arrested for the fourth time along with a dozen other reformers calling for a constitution. In mid-December 2003 more than 100 Saudi reformers issued a petition (“Constitutional Reform or Not”) calling for Saudi Arabia to become a constitutional monarchy with separation of powers, reform of the judiciary and a crackdown on corruption. A group of reformers, most of them signatories to the petition, later held a meeting and decided to issue another statement criticising the National Human Rights Society and asking to be allowed to set up an independent association, but on 16 March 2004 the Minister of Interior arrested most of those who had attended the meeting.
  • 1995 - He was arrested for the third time. The key question in his interrogation was about a phrase in his book “Human Rights”, where he said there was no “His Highness” or “His Lowness” in Islam
  • 1994 - He was arrested a second time.
  • 16 June 1993 - He was arrested for the first time, together with Dr Mohammad al-Massari, followed by 20 more members of the committee he helped to set up.
  • 1993 - He helped to set up a human rights committee, after which he was dismissed from his university post and arrested.

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