Ill-treatment in Prison of Saudi Human Rights Defender Mohammed Al-Qahtani Continues

Updated: Apr 25, 2019

On March 25, 2019, Endangered Scholars Worldwide learned that Mohammed Al-Qahtani, a prominent Saudi economist’s, health is deteriorating due to conditions in the Al-Ha'ir criminal prison in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, where he is serving a 10-year sentence for his human rights activities.

Mohammad al-Qahtani in December 2012 | Photo Credit: Amnesty International

According to The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), Al-Qahtani was transferred from his cell in the prison to a new wing on March 20, 2019. On December 18, 2018, he was placed in solitary confinement for a day.

Al-Qahtani was awarded the 2018 Right Livelihood Award with Abdullah Al-Hamid and Waleed Abu Al-Khair, who are also in prison in Saudi Arabia. He and Al-Hamid cofounded the Association for Civil Rights and Political Rights (ACPRA).

On March 9, 2013, the Criminal Court in Riyadh sentenced Al-Qahtani to prison on 12 charges including setting up an unlicensed organization (namely ACPRA), “refusing to submit to the will of the King,” “inciting public disorder,” and “communicating with foreign entities.”

Endangered Scholars Worldwide joins GCHR and other like-minded human rights organizations to call on the Saudi government to end the imprisonment and mistreatment of Al-Qahtani and other human rights defenders on account of their peaceful human rights work.


We call upon all international organizations, academic and professional associations, and other groups and individuals devoted to the promotion and defense of human rights to protest and condemn this arbitrary incarceration; to call for Al-Qahtani’s immediate and unconditional release; and to urge the Saudi authorities to drop all charges against and release all persons detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly immediately and unconditionally.


Please send appeals to the following:


Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Nasseriya Street

Riyadh 11124

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Fax: +966 1 403 0645


Dr. Walid bin Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Samaani

Minister of Justice

PO Box 58889, Bldg. 373

King Fahad Road

Riyadh 11515

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Fax: +966 1 4612061

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