Thursday, February 23, 2012

Saudi Arabia: Trial of Riyadh protester ‘utterly unwarranted’

22 February 2012

"The trial before a state security court of a Saudi Arabian school teacher arrested nearly a year ago after he arrived to demonstrate on the “Day of Rage” in Riyadh is an affront to his basic rights, Amnesty International said today.

Khaled al-Johani stood trial today before the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh, a tribunal set up in 2008 to try detainees held on terrorism-related charges. The court adjourned his case until early April.

“Khaled al-Johani shouldn’t be standing trial in any court for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and assembly,” said Philip Luther, Interim Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

“The fact that he is appearing before a court that was originally established to handle terrorism-related charges only adds insult to injury.”

“This trial is utterly unwarranted. We call on the Saudi authorities to release him and others held on similar charges immediately and unconditionally.”....."

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