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Former Saudi finance minister imprisoned after tweet mourning dissident

Rights activists have decried medical negligence in Saudi Arabia's secretive prisons (Getty)

Date of publication: 27 July, 2020

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The son of former Saudi deputy Finance Minister and writer Abdulaziz Al-Dakhil revealed that his father is currently being detained by authorities in a prison south of the kingdom's capital.
The son of former Saudi deputy Finance Minister and writer Abdulaziz Al-Dakhil revealed that his father is currently being detained by authorities in a prison south of the kingdom's capital Riyadh.

Al-Dakhil was detained last Ramadan, along with two others, for paying tribute to reformist Abdullah Al-Hamid, who recently died in prison, reported Middle East Monitor.  

The son of the finance minister, Abdel-Hakim Al-Dakhil, announced that his father was detained at Al-Hair Prison after writing a tweet calling for freedom and justice.

Al-Dakhil's tweet, posted on 25 April, eulogised imprisoned Saudi dissident Abdullah Al-Hamid who died in detention after suffering a stroke.  

"Dr. Abdullah Al-Hamid, the man who was devoted to his homeland and to high values, morals and sincere citizenship, has passed on to his God," read Al-Dakhil's tweet. "But he did not leave the hearts of the faithful to the homeland of the believers, by providing advice without fear or shame, and without vested interest. May God have mercy on you, Abu Bilal."

Al-Hamid, a founding member of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), was sentenced to 11 years in jail in March 2013.

He was convicted on multiple charges, including "breaking allegiance" to the Saudi ruler, "inciting disorder" and seeking to disrupt state security, according to Amnesty International.

Rights activists have decried medical negligence in Saudi Arabia's secretive prisons, especially as the kingdom battles a Covid-19 outbreak, as reported by The New Arab.

The Prisoners of Conscience, an organisation concerned with the affairs of detainees in the Saudi Kingdom, confirmed the arrests of three writers and activists, namely: Aqel Al-Baheli, Abdulaziz Al-Dakhil and lawyer Sultan Al-Ajmi.

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