Sanad Human Rights Organisation held its annual conference in London, titled ‘A year of doubling sentences’. The conference shed light on human rights violations in Saudi Arabia during 2022, as well as reviewed the most prominent achievements and shortcomings of the organisation during the year. The conference was attended by renowned personalities and human rights activists from around the globe.
At the start of the conference, Sanad’s director Dr Saeed Al-Ghamdi greeted the activists and guests present, before addressing the deteriorating human rights situation in Saudi Arabia. He claimed that the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia is catastrophic in every meaning of the word, and that concerted efforts to push for reform is a national and humanitarian duty, and that staying silent regarding the regime’s violations and turning a blind eye to its transgressions means nothing but more violations, repression, tyranny and abuses.
Additionally, in his speech, Al-Ghamdi talked about the urgent need for human rights work in Saudi Arabia and said: “In a country like Saudi Arabia, where human rights are violated in all forms, and where repression, terrorism and the denial of freedoms are practised, it is of utmost urgency and necessity that light is shed on the violations and abuses practiced by the regime against its citizens, and to work together to achieve dignity for the oppressed in their homelands, and to say with one voice to this oppressive and criminal regime, it’s time for you to stop your crimes and denying the freedom and rights of people”.
During a presentation addressing the human rights situation in the Kingdom over the year, Sanad’s advisor, Dr Sue Conlon said: “The continuous and heinous practices of violating human rights, and the continued policy of arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and brutal torture inside prisons confirm the Saudi regime’s insistence of using these policies to manage the country; not to mention depriving detainees of their basic rights and the deliberate medical neglect they are subjected to inside their prisons; as well as the clear legal imbalance in dealing with detainees’ cases, starting with their arbitrary arrest without a warrant or judicial order, through to the conditions of their detention and enforced disappearance, and ending with sham trials that lack the most basic standards of justice, in addition to the unfair and lengthy sentences issued against some, or The Public Prosecution’s demands that it be imposed on others simply for exercising their natural right to express their opinion”.
Conlon reported that Sanad monitored more than 30 cases of arbitrary arrest during 2022, of whom more than 80% were subjected to enforced disappearance. On the subject of the forced displacement of citizens in Saudi Arabia, Sue Conlan said: “After the incident of confiscating the lands of the sons of Al-Huwaitat in 2020, 2022 witnessed several displacement operations in various regions of the Kingdom – in Riyadh and Asir. It also saw the terrible demolitions that Jeddah is currently exposed to. What the regime is practicing against its citizens is a blatant violation of the most important human right – that of housing. Instead of providing housing for its citizens, the government has demolished homes and displaced their residents under flimsy pretexts”.
The conference included several speeches by human rights figures, in addition to responding to queries about the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia by attendees. The conference concluded with a speech by the head of the organisation, where he elaborated the diverse objectives of Sanad and its reach to several entities, including the United Nations, calling on all to provide the organisation with confirmed documentations of human rights information that enables it to help lift the injustice against the Saudi people.