Saudi Arab


jos_saud_shiai_wahhabisHuman rights defender Mr Munir Baqir Ebrahim Al-Jassas, aged 30, remains in detention in Saudi Arabia having been arrested on 7 November 2009 by the Saudi Wahhabis’ intelligence service in Al-Dammam, in eastern Saudi Arabia.

Further Information

Munir Baqir Ebrahim Al-Jassas has been an advocate for Shia minority rights since February 2009. He is the general supervisor for the “Tahara” on-line discussion forum and regularly posted articles and comments on other web forums on the same issue. Despite more than five months in prison, no official charges have been pressed against him.

Two months prior to his arrest, Munir Baqir Ebrahim Al-Jassas was summoned by the Al-Dammam intelligence service and reportedly ordered to write a pledge to stop his internet posts criticising the government’s treatment of the Shia minority.

His posts urged peaceful action to support his fellow Shias, especially following incidents in February 2009, when Saudi religious police attacked Shia pilgrims in Medina, and in March 2009, when they arrested peaceful Shia solidarity protesters in ‘Awwamiyya in the Eastern Province.

On 7 March 2009, Munir Baqir Ebrahim Al-Jassas wrote about the “need to continue peaceful and correct media mobilization… to release the prisoners as soon as possible”.

On 7 November 2009, agents of the intelligence service arrested Munir Baqir Ebrahim Al-Jassas and raided his house, without showing any search warrant, confiscating two laptops, a hard-disk and a digital camera, in the presence of his wife, who is ill, and their two small children.

Munir Baqir Ebrahim Al-Jassas was held in solitary confinement for four months at the detention centre of the intelligence service in Al-Dammam. His wife was allowed to visit him two months after his arrest, but only so that she could obtain his written consent for her to undergo an urgent medical procedure, in accordance with Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system.

She was allowed to visit him again two months later, shortly after he had been moved to a group cell with other inmates. He told her that his arrest was a result of his internet posts defending the rights of the Shia minority In Saudi Arabia.

Front Line believes that the arbitrary arrest and continued detention without charge of Munir Baqir Ebrahim Al-Jassas is directly linked to his legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights, particularly the rights of Shia minority in Saudi Arabia.


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