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Saudi Arabia: One year pre-trial detention of human rights defender Mr Fadel Mekki Al-Manasef
Over a year after his arrest, human rights defender Mr Fadel Mekki Al-Manasef continues to be held in the General Investigations Prison in the city of Dammam.
He is being subjected to a lengthy trial process as he stands accused of sedition for participating in protests. Fadel Al-Manasef is a prominent human rights defender who brings human rights violations committed by the Saudi authorities to the attention of the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution and the National Society for Human Rights.
Since his arrest on 2 October 2011, Fadel Al-Manasef has been brought before the court on three different occasions, on 28 February, 9 April and 9 May 2012, on charges of sedition for participating in protests. A request for bail filed by his legal representative was refused during the April session and all subsequent hearings have been postponed since 9 May 2012.
Fadel Al-Manasef was not permitted visits from his family for a total of 314 consecutive days, until a visit was allowed on 11 August 2012, for the first time since his arrest. He spent four months in solitary confinement, during which he was reportedly subjected to torture, elements of which included electrocution; being hit with hands and feet; being made to stand for hours on end; being made to hold his arms above his body for prolonged periods of time and being kept shackled and blindfolded.
At the time of his arrest, Fadel Al-Manasef was involved in assisting Mr Hasan Al Zayd, who had been arrested by the authorities in lieu of his son who was being sought by the security forces. Fadel Al-Manasef visited Al-Awamiyya police station in order to inform the police that the arrest of Hasan Al Zayd was unlawful and to urge them to release him. At the police station Hasan Al Zayd felt ill as a result of a heart condition from which he suffers, and he was then taken to hospital by a Saudi Red Crescent Ambulance. The human rights defender was following the ambulance in his car when he was arrested at a police checkpoint between the towns of Al-Awamiyya and Al-Safawi.