Palestine

Hamas calls on Saudi Arabia to release Palestinian prisoners

The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has called on Saudi officials to release Palestinian prisoners, particularly its high-ranking official Muhammad al-Khudari, who is being kept behind bars in the kingdom since April 2019 and is suffering from various illnesses.

Hamas, in a statement released on Thursday, expressed concern over a recent report by Amnesty International that the health of 83-year-old Khudari has been deteriorating due to the lack of access to adequate health care.

The statement added that the senior Hamas official is suffering from several health problems, noting that his health condition is worsening and he has trouble swallowing food or drinks.

Hamas finally called on Saudi authorities to immediately release Khudari and his son, Hani, along with all other Palestinians being incarcerated in Saudi jails.

Back on March 22 last year, Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas political bureau, in a letter addressed to Saudi monarch King Salman pleaded with him to order the freedom of Palestinian detainees in Saudi prisons.

“In light of the pandemic of the novel coronavirus that has spread across the globe, due to fears for the lives of our honorable brethren and given all humanitarian and religious considerations … the release of the Palestinians becomes a humanitarian and national necessity. We are all confident that His Majesty will not hesitate to do so,” the letter read at the time.

Dr. Khudari and his son Hani were arbitrarily arrested on April 4, 2019, and remained in detention without charge until March 8 last year.

Both men were forcibly disappeared for one month after their arrest, and held incommunicado and in solitary confinement for the next two months of their detention.

A month into the senior Hamas official’s detention, his wife received a phone call from authorities in the maximum-security Dhahban Prison near the Red Sea port city of Jeddah requesting his medical records. Two weeks prior to his arrest, Dr. Khudari had undergone surgery.

Dr. Khudari is currently being held in al-Hai’r Prison in Riyadh, while his son is detained in Dhahban Prison.

Khudari has been living in Saudi Arabia for over 30 years, and represented Hamas between mid-1990s and 2003 in Saudi Arabia.

His son is a university professor and has no political affiliation.

 

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