In an Unfair Trial, the Saudi Judiciary Sentenced a Protester 17 Years
European Society for Human Rights Saudi Arabia
|Majid Saees AlNassif|
In the 15th of December 2012, Saudi authorities arbitrarily arrested Majid Saeed Al Nassif (07/10/1979), from his private office in the city of Al-Awamiya of Qatif province.
In clear violation of article 2 of the Law of Criminal Procedure, at the eleventh hour the morning of Saturday, he was ambushed by four security men, masked and dressed informally, while doing his normal work in his office, pointed their guns at his face, and beat him on the face and neck, and tied his hands. With verbal humiliation and degrading treatment, they forced him to a civilian car covering his eyes. He was taken to a prison in Dammam Administrative Detective Prison and put in solitary confinement, and was stripped of all his personal property, that was in his possession at the time.
After a month of being in Dammam Administrative Detective Prison, he was transferred to the General Intelligence Prison in the city of Dammam, and subjected to psychological torture and degrading treatment , where he was imprisoned in solitary confinement for nearly two and a half months, and often was faced with verbal insult on his beliefs and religious affiliation.
His interrogation continued throughout his stay in solitary confinement without access to a lawyer. He was threatened during that time to force confessions. Then was forced at the end on the ratification of the statements extracted under duress and great pressure and psychological torture, and the use of deceptive techniques in the collection of confessions.
After complete isolation from the outside world, he was transferred to a mass prison room. Then, after three and a half months of his detention, he was allowed to be visited by his family, which is confined to the first-degree relatives. Where families usually are exposed to a humiliating inspection and ill-treatment in some cases upon entry to visit.
Prison conditions had an impact on his health:
1. Before his arrest, he was suffering from health problems and cramps in the back and chest. He was receiving regular treatment, and after prison, he has exacerbated the health problem.
2. Sharp decline in weight, poor physical structure, and the constant stress and anxiety.
With the first trial hearings, which began after undue delay in 02/24/2014, in clear violation of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the prosecutor has the following charges:
1. Calls to participate in the demonstrations via his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
2. Relationship with a number of the most wanted list of 23, and the support and misprision of them.
3. Joining a group in a smart phones’ program, with the aim of monitoring the movement of security vehicles in Al-Awamiya.
4. The financing of terrorism and terrorist operations through buying SIM Cards and providing them to one of the wanted.
5. Participate in demonstrations, and shout slogans hostile to the state.
6. Transport some of the wanted in his car
7. Trafficking, as he was taking SR. 200 riyals per month from each worker under his sponsorship.
Accordingly, the public prosecutor demanded the implementation of punishments: imprisonment with a total of 30 years and a fine of nine million riyals, and the confiscation of his personal car and travel bans.
The trial was held in three semi-secretive sessions, which nobody was allowed to enter but a lawyer or one of his relatives. Judge Mohammed Al-Zahrani in the third session on 04/02/2014 announced the primary sentencing as follows:
1. 17 years' imprisonment.
2. A fine of SR. 100,000 (U.S. $ 26,666).
3. The confiscation of his car Yukon 2007 model.
4. Travel ban for 17 years.
We in the European Saudi Society for Human Rights (ESSHR), stress the occurrence of numerous violations and grave breaches of the procedures of arrest and interrogation. In addition, the trial, which took place, was not compatible with international standards for fair trials, so we demand the Saudi government the following:
1. The immediate release of the arbitrarily detained Majid Al Nassif, unconditionally.
2. Conduct a prompt, impartial and thorough investigation about torture and human rights abuses suffered by Al Nassif, as provided for under domestic law (Article 28 of the system, "the prison and detention" and Article 2 of the Law of Criminal Procedure), and international laws.
3. Provide necessary health care, to address his effects resulting from imprisonment and torture.
4. Ensure his full rights, and must be compensated financially due to the economic damage that has befallen his family being the sole provider for his daughter (6 years), his wife and his ailing mother.
The ESSHR calls on all local, regional and international organizations on the need to follow all aspects of detainee Al-Nassif, as he is one of many who have been subjected to arbitrary arrest, where faces a primary harsh sentencing, and does not rule out an increase sentencing by the appeal, as happened in many cases monitored by the ESSHR in the ongoing trials of prisoners of conscience detained in Saudi jails after the events of 2011.