NGOs have demanded transparency and the release of all human rights defenders a year after the death of imprisoned Saudi activist Abdullah al-Hamid. The International Federation for Human Rights had this release:
April 24, 2021 marks one year since prominent Saudi human rights defender Dr Abdullah al-Hamid passed away, while serving an 11-year prison sentence on politically motivated charges. Before his passing, Dr al-Hamid was suffering from heart conditions and was advised to undergo surgery. However, prison authorities delayed his operation for several months, leading to the deterioration of his health. As a consequence, on April 9, 2020, he suffered a stroke in al-Ha’ir prison, entered into a coma, and eventually passed away.
In June 2020, UN experts expressed grave concerns over the lack of medical care from prison authorities and the delay to Dr al-Hamid’s treatment, which “may have arbitrarily deprived him of his rights to life.” They requested answers around the circumstances of his passing and called for a duly investigation. However, all of the allegations were denied by the Saudi authorities and no explanation was provided.
As a human rights defender, writer and academic, Dr al-Hamid had tirelessly advocated for the promotion of human rights and democratic reforms in Saudi Arabia. In 2009, he was among the co-founders of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), one of the few independent civil society organisations, which was banned in April 2013 following an arbitrary process.
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