Qatari national freed by Saudi Arabia after arbitrary detention

Qatar human rights body welcomes release of Mohsen Saleh Saadoun al-Karbi who has been held in Saudi since April 2018.

    Saudi Arabia, along with Bahrain, UAE, and Egypt severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June 2017 [File: Yannis Behrakis/Reuters]
    Saudi Arabia, along with Bahrain, UAE, and Egypt severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June 2017 [File: Yannis Behrakis/Reuters]

    A Qatari national was released from prison in Saudi Arabia after being arbitrarily detained for more than a year, the Doha-based National Human Rights Committee said (NHRC).

    Mohsen Saleh Saadoun al-Karbi had been jailed by Saudi authorities since April 21, 2018. During his time in detention, he was prohibited from contacting his family and lawyer, who were unable to identify al-Karbi's exact place of detention or learn what the alleged charges against him entailed.

    In a statement on Sunday, NHRC called on Saudi authorities to compensate al-Karbi for the "harm suffered during his enforced disappearance".

    It also called for the immediate release of Abdulaziz Saeed Abdullah, a student reportedly held since July 2018 without trial.

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    The committee also called on the UN and international organisations to investigate Saudi authorities' "gross and systematic violations and discriminatory measures against Qatari nationals".

    International condemnation

    Saudi Arabia along with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June 2017, and have since imposed an air, land and sea blockade on Doha.

    The blockading quartet has accused Qatar of supporting "terrorism". Qatar has denied the accusations and said the boycott impinges on its sovereignty.

    Saudi Arabia has been accused of human rights violations by international organisations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

    The kingdom's de facto leader, Mohammed bin Salman, has, in particular, come under scrutiny over the country's involvement in the ongoing war in Yemen, which has caused thousands of civilian deaths, as well as its intensifying crackdown on public dissent in Saudi Arabia

    International condemnation of Saudi Arabia intensified over Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's assassination, with reports of Prince Mohammed's implication in the grisly murder.

    In its statement, NHRC urged the UN special rapporteur on the protection of human rights and the UN working group on arbitrary detention to help release the Qatari student who remains in Saudi detention.

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    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News