Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 07:45 GMT

Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2005 - Saudi Arabia

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 22 March 2006
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2005 - Saudi Arabia, 22 March 2006, available at: [accessed 31 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Sentencing and release of Messrs. Ali Al-Domainy, Abdullah Al-Hamad, Matrouk Al-Faleh and Abd Al-Rahman Allahim32

On 15 May 2005, Messrs. Ali Al-Domainy, Abdullah Al-Hamad and Matrouk Al-Faleh, three human rights defenders known for their long and active involvement in the promotion of democratic reforms, were respectively sentenced to nine, seven and six years of imprisonment by the Riyadh Criminal Court for "stirring up sedition and disobeying the ruler". Only two of their family members were allowed to attend the hearing, which was held in camera, allegedly for "maintaining public order".

On 23 July 2005, the Riyadh Court of Appeal upheld the verdict of the Criminal Court. On 8 August 2005, Messrs. Al-Domainy, Al-Hamad and Al-Faleh were granted a royal pardon by King Abdullah Bin Abd Al-Azi Al-Saud, and subsequently released.

The three men had been detained since 15 March 2004 for criticising, along with nine other human rights activists, the lack of independence of the newly established National Human Rights Committee and for submitting a request for the creation and registration of an independent human rights organisation. By the end of 2005, this request had not been acknowledged nor processed.

Moreover, Mr. Abd Al-Rahman Allahim, a legal counsel for Messrs. Al-Domainy, Al-Hamad and Al-Faleh and a human rights defender, was accused in January 2005 of breaching the pledge he was forced to sign at the end of his first detention in early 2004, and in which he had stated that he would cease his activities in favour of political reforms and human rights. Mr. Allahim had been detained since 9 November 2004 at the Al Ha'ir prison, after circulating a letter addressed by his three clients to Prince Abdullah Al-Saud to the Agence France Presse (AFP). Mr. Allahim was also granted royal pardon on 8 August 2005.

[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website ( was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

32. See Annual Report 2004 and Urgent Appeals SAU 001/0304/OBS 017.3 and 017.4.

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