Human rights organizations have condemned the Saudi authorities’ prosecution of ten Egyptians from the Nubian community in Riyadh for organizing a cultural symposium.
The Gulf Center for Human Rights said the 10 Egyptians would face trial on their basic human and civil rights charges.
On November 10, 2021, 10 Egyptians will appear before the Specialized Criminal Court, and they are:
Adel Sayed Ibrahim Faqir, 65 years old, the current head of the Nubian community in Riyadh (photo on the left), is from the village of Ballana in southern Egypt. He works as an accountant.
Dr Faraj Allah Ahmed Youssef, former head of the Nubian community in Riyadh (photo on the right).
Jamal Abdullah Masri, President of the Association of the Nubian village of Dahmit in Riyadh.
Muhammad Fathallah Jumaa, 37 years old, is a member of the Association of the Nubian Village of Dahmit in Riyadh. He works as an IT engineer.
Hashem Shater, a member of the Dahmit Nubian Village Association in Riyadh.
Ali Jumaa Ali Bahr, 37 years old, is a Dahmit Nubian Village Association member in Riyadh.
Saleh Jumaa Ahmed, a member of the Association of the Nubian village of Dahmit in Riyadh.
Abdul Salam Juma Ali, a member of the Association of the Nubian village of Dahmit in Riyadh.
Abdullah Juma’a Ali Bahr, 43 years old, is a Dahmit Nubian Village Association member in Riyadh.
Wael Ahmed Hassan, a member of the Thomas Nubian Village Society in Riyadh.
On July 14, 2020, the General Directorate of Investigation, which represents the secret police and is affiliated with the Presidency of State Security, re-arrested the 10 Egyptian citizens in Riyadh. They had previously been arrested on October 25 2019, before a public symposium they were planning to organize.
They were scheduled to hold a symposium on October 25, 2019, recalling the October 06, 1973 war. Still, on the morning of the seminar, the detective officers arrested Dr Faraj Allah Ahmad Yousef and summoned nine of his colleagues to the police station. They have been interrogated and banned from travelling. Only four of them were imprisoned and then released on December 25, 2019.
They are held in Asir Prison in the city of Abha, the administrative headquarters and capital of the Asir region. They were not allowed access to a lawyer. They are not allowed to receive visits from their families or make regular phone calls to them.
The Gulf Center for Human Rights condemned in the strongest terms the continued detention and trial of ten Egyptian citizens, who were imprisoned for more than a year, in violation of their right to peaceful assembly. The Gulf Center for Human Rights demands their immediate and unconditional release.
The Gulf Center stressed that the Saudi authorities should make every effort to protect the presence of minorities, their national or ethnic identity, and their cultural, religious and linguistic identity, and to create conditions that reinforce this identity and enable them to carry out their peaceful activities without any harassment or arbitrary measures.
In this context, Skyline International for Human Rights said that it views with concern and deep condemnation the decision of the Saudi authorities to transfer 10 Egyptians from the Nubian community to trial for organizing a cultural symposium.
In a press statement, Stockholm-based Skyline confirmed that the Saudi action against Egyptian citizens constitutes a severe violation of the right to peaceful assembly, opinion expression, and civic activities.
It also clearly and unjustifiably violates what international conventions have established to enable individuals to express their opinions and organize peaceful meetings and gatherings.
Skyline International stressed the need to stop the trial of detained Egyptians, and the necessity of an immediate and unconditional end to the arbitrary detention of the ten Egyptian citizens, stressing the responsibility of the Saudi authorities to protect the existence of minorities and their national or ethnic identity.
The human rights organization also called on the Saudi authorities to provide all legal guarantees for all groups and individuals to hold peaceful events without exposing its officials or the persons participating in them to the risk of prosecution or arrest.