Saudi Arabia: Trial of ten Nubian Egyptians postponed until June

29.03.22

The Specialised Criminal Court (SCC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia decided to postpone the trial of ten Egyptian Nubian citizens until June 2022. The charges directed against the men include spreading false and malicious rumours on social media, and establishing an unlicensed association, in violation of their rights to freedom of expression and association.

On 27 March 2022, the SCC in Riyadh held its fourth hearing in the trial of ten Egyptian Nubian citizens. They are:

  1. Adel Sayed Ibrahim Fakir, 65 years, current head of the Nubian community in Riyadh, who is from the village of Ballana in southern Egypt. He is an accountant.
  2. Dr. Farajallah Ahmed Yousif, 64 years, former head of the Nubian community in Riyadh.
  3. Jamal Abdullah Masri, head of the Dahmit Nubian Village Association in Riyadh.
  4. Mohammed Fathallah Jumaa, 37 years, member of the Dahmit Nubian Village Association in Riyadh. He is an IT engineer.
  5. Hashim Shater, member of the Dahmit Nubian Village Association in Riyadh.
  6. Ali Jumaa Ali Bahr, 37 years, member of the Dahmit Nubian Village Association in Riyadh.
  7. Saleh Jumaa Ahmed, member of the Dahmit Nubian Village Association in Riyadh.
  8. Abdulsalam Juma Ali, member of the Dahmit Nubian Village Association in Riyadh.
  9. Abdullah Jumaa Ali Bahr, 43 years, President of the Dahmit Nubian Village Association in Riyadh.
  10. Wael Ahmed Hassan, 54 years, head of the Thomas Nubian Village Association in Riyadh.

The lawyer appointed by the court read his defense responding to the charges brought against the ten Egyptian citizens. The court then decided to postpone the trial until 14 June 2022.

The allegations against them include the following: supporting a banned political group (the Muslim Brotherhood), spreading false and malicious rumours on social media, especially Facebook, and violating the law by establishing an unlicensed association.

They are being held in Asir Prison in the city of Abha, the administrative headquarters and capital of the Asir region, where they have been prevented from receiving family visits. Some of them suffer from chronic diseases due to their old age and the large distance they have to travel between Abha and Riyadh, which is 950km, to attend the court. There are fears among their families that they are not getting proper health care.

For more information, see: https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/2940,

https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/2869 and https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/2760

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) condemns in the strongest terms the continued detention and trial of ten Egyptian nationals, who have been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia for more than a year before their trial, in violation of their right to peaceful assembly. GCHR demands their immediate and unconditional release.

The Saudi authorities should make every effort to protect the existence 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.