Social Media Campaign Calling on HM King Mohammed VI to Intervene to Stop Extradition of Saudi Citizen

A hashtag has spread widely on social media in recent days calling on Moroccan authorities not to hand over Saudi citizen Usama al-Hasani to Saudi authorities.


A hashtag has spread widely on social media in recent days calling on Moroccan authorities not to hand over Saudi citizen Usama al-Hasani to Saudi authorities.


Saudi and Arab human rights’ activists have appealed to King Mohammed VI to intervene to release Dr. Usama al-Hasani, for fear of him being imprisoned and tortured by Saudi authorities.

A number of activists stated that “the dissident, Usama al-Hasani, a Saudi who holds Australian citizenship, was arrested by Moroccan authorities at the request of Saudi Arabia, and may be deported to Saudi Arabia to face torture and perhaps slow killing there,” calling on “Morocco not to deport him to the KSA.”

Prisoners of Conscience’s account on Twitter, which is concerned with providing follow-up for Saudi opinion detainees, has published an open letter circulated by a number of academics, media professionals and human rights activists, through which they called on King Mohammed VI to intervene to release Al-Hasani.

The same letter indicated that “Dr. Usama al-Hasani will be in grave danger, as soon as he is deported from Morocco and handed over to Saudi authorities”, warning that there are real fears that he will be killed, as happened with journalist Jamal Khashoggi, or that he will be put under forced disappearance for many years, like many other Saudi prisoners of conscience.

The letter also pointed out that Al-Hasani, who was a former member of the teaching staff at King Abdulaziz University, holds an Australian citizenship, and did not engage in any political opposition activity during his stay in the UK.

Under the hashtag #do_not_deport_Usama_Al-Hasani, Mauritanian academic, Mohamed El-Moctar Shinqiti wrote: “I wish King Mohammed VI to personally intervene and prevent the deportation of Al-Hasani to Saudi Arabia, where he will face torture, and possibly murder, injustice and aggression.”

It is noteworthy that Al Hasani was arrested upon arrival in Morocco under the request of Saudi authorities; a spokesperson for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) confirmed that they were providing consular assistance to a citizen detained in Morocco, but he refused to provide further information, due to privacy considerations. Details from both local and Saudi authorities also remain unobtainable.


 

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