Saudi huger striking lawyer facing health risk: Report
Story Code : 256386
According to a report by al-Hayat newspaper published on Saturday, conditions of the prominent human rights activist were getting worse following a 16-day hunger strike.
In June 2012, Qahtani was charged in a Saudi court on 11 charges, including “breaking allegiance to” Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
At the time, Amnesty International said in a statement that Qahtani’s trial “is just one of a troubling string of court cases aimed at silencing the kingdom’s human rights activists.”
Earlier on Saturday, there were reports of arrests amid anti-government protests in Qatif in the Eastern Province.
Anti-government protests have intensified since November 2011, when security forces opened fire on protestors in Qatif, killing five people and leaving scores more injured.
Activists say there are over 30,000 political prisoners in Saudi Arabia.
In October 2012, Amnesty International called on the Saudi authorities to stop using excessive force against pro-democracy protestors.
“The Saudi authorities must end their repeated moves to stifle people’s attempts to protest against the widespread use of arbitrary detention in the country,” Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, said on October 16.
“The right of people to peaceful protest must be respected and the security forces must refrain from detaining or using excessive force against people who exercise it,” he added.