Salman al Awdah was arrested in September 2017 at the beginning of a wave of repression against political dissidents in the Saudi kingdom. This extremely popular religious preacher from Saudi Arabia (with 13 million followers on Twitter) faces the death sentence, as it was requested by the Saudi prosecutor in September 2018.
Appearing before the special tribunal of Riyad in charge of terrorist cases on a national level, Salman al-Awdah faces 37 counts, none of which have been made public.
In solitary confinement for 5 months, he was chained and handcuffed in his cell, deprived of sleep and medical treatment, and interrogated day and night. When he left solitary confinement, he had to be hospitalized.
On 3rd February, 2019, a Saudi attorney rescheduled his hearing for the third time, according to his son Abdullah al-Awda’s Twitter account.
Salman was a prominent member of the Islamist movement Sahwa in the 90s, which opposed the presence of US troops on Saudi soil following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. He became an influential religious person, committed to the struggle for reforming the Saudi regime into one of democracy and freedom. In 2011, the grassroots movements shaking up the region looked favorably upon Salman’s aims. He continues to advocate for a political system that respects the rule of law and freedom of expression.
He was arrested when he refused to publicly support Riyad in the conflict with the neighboring kingdom of Qatar. Saudi militants declared that the brother of Salman, Khaled, had also been arrested for having revealed the arrest of his prominent religious brother.
To write the following words :
« My thoughts are with you and I wish you strength and courage in this ordeal. »
In Arabic :
« حتى ولو كنت بعيداً عنك أنت دائماً بأفكاري و مشاعري، اتمنى لك الصبر و طول البال خلال هذه المرحلة الصعبة »
To write in English to his son :
CENTER FOR MUSLIM-CHRISTIAN UNDERSTANDING
Bunn Intercultural Center (ICC) Suite 260
3700 O Street, N.W., Washington D.C. 20057