'Deliberate medical neglect' kills jailed Saudi cleric

'Deliberate medical neglect' kills jailed Saudi cleric: rights group
2 min read
21 January, 2019
A Saudi cleric who was arrested last year has died days after his release as a result of alleged medical neglect suffered while in detention.
Amari was a former dean of the Quran College in Madinah's Islamic University [Twitter]

A Saudi cleric who was arrested last year has died days after his release as a result of alleged medical neglect he suffered while in jail, an anti-government rights group has said.

The Prisoners of Conscience Twitter account reported that Sheikh Ahmad al-Amari died on Sunday a week after he was freed from prison while in a coma.

The group, which tracks political prisoners in the kingdom, accused Saudi authorities of deliberately denying the ageing cleric access to health care in prison and holding him in solitary confinement for five months.

The group added that the coma may have been induced after authorities injected a "poisonous substance" into the religious leader's body.

The cleric's son Abdallah corroborated that his father had died on Twitter.

Amari, the former dean of the Quran College in the Islamic University of Madinah, was arrested last September amid a crackdown on figures seen as opposed to powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi authorities have arrested dozens of writers, journalists, activists and religious leaders, including prominent Islamist cleric Sheikh Salman al-Awda.

Prisoners of Conscience has regularly accused Riyadh of failing to provide medical care of the jailed clerics, many of whom are elderly.

Saudi Arabia's human rights record has come under increased international scrutiny over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.