Saudi Arabia releases prominent rights advocate after 15 years in prison

Originally posted to The Middle East Monitor website, 24 September 2021

Saudi authorities yesterday released human rights defender, Abdul Rahman Al-Shamiri, after detaining him for 15 years .

The rights organisation ALQST and the Prisoners of Conscience Twitter account quoted sources as saying that Al-Shimiri was released “following the expiry of his sentence.”

Al-Shamiri is a retired Saudi academic who worked at Umm Al-Qura University, he was also a consultant in the kingdom’s Shura Council for years.

He was arrested in 2007, and sentenced to a 15-year prison term on charges including “disobeying the ruler”.

In December 2003, Al-Shamiri was one of the signatories of a reform document sent to the Saudi monarch at the time, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, demanding Saudis be allowed to participate in the political system. The document was followed by others, including one which demanded the release of three rights defenders, including the late Abdullah Al-Hamid.

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