Free and Rescue Salman Alodah

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In September 2017, my father Salman Alodah, a prominent moderate Saudi scholar was arrested shortly after tweeting a prayer for reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and its Gulf neighbor Qatar, three months after Riyadh launched a blockade on the emirate. Alodah remains imprisoned in solitary confinement in breach of international laws. Holding detainees for too long in solitary confinement is in itself slow-motion execution.

Even worse, the Saudi Attorney General is seeking death penalty for him on bogus charges and in a secret trial.   

Last January UN experts denounced the arrest of Alodah and described him as “an influential religious figure who has urged greater respect for human rights within Sharia.” Alodah appeared in court a year after his arrest. His trial was held SECRETLY. During the court hearing the special prosecutor swiftly accused him with 37 charges, such as swaying public opinion and not praying enough for the ruler. Hence, sought his execution. According to a HWR statement and to the State Department’s annual report on Saudi Arabia, none of the charges “referred to specific acts of violence or incitement to acts of violence.”  

Unfortunately, Alodah’s incarceration also affected our family. My uncle Dr. Khaled Alodah is imprisoned for breaking the news of my father’s detention. Dr. Khaled also developed a heart problem due to deprivation of his medications. 17 family members are banned from traveling. Moreover, I am placed on a “services freeze” which means I cannot do any paperwork with the Saudi embassy in Washington.  

                                    Read more on The New York Times


Around the same time of my father’s arbitrary arrest, two other influential reformers, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari were arrested. Like my father they are detained under appalling conditions and are facing the death penalty.

 I am calling on all people of conscience and all interfaith leaders to join me petition the US State Department and to urge their representatives to condemn these unlawful arrests and demand the Saudi government to halt its arbitrary search, seizure, execution of influential moderate scholars, and persecution of detainees family members and to abide by its obligations under international human rights law.