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Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 12 Palestinian father and son arbitrarily detained
UA 172/19
Saudi Arabia
Abgeschlossen am 23. Januar 2020

Palestinian father and son arbitrarily detained

AI-Index: MDE 23/1571/2019

On 4 April 2019, Palestinian national Dr Mohammed al-Khudari (81) and his son Dr Hani al-Khudari (48) were arbitrarily arrested and remain in detention without charge. They were held incommunicado and in solitary confinement for the first three months of their detention. Dr Mohammad al-Khudari requires adequate medical attention and treatment for cancer.


Dr Mohammed al-Khudari is a Palestinian national and a retired doctor and politician, who has been residing in Saudi Arabia for approximately 30 years. Dr Mohammed al-Khudari was the official representative in Saudi Arabia of the Hamas de facto authority in Gaza, and responsible of coordinating relations between the Hamas de facto authority in Gaza and the government of Saudi Arabia. He resigned from his position and has been inactive for the past 10 years due to his illness.

Dr Hani al-Khudari is a Palestinian national with no political affiliations. He completed his Ph.D. in computer science and is currently a professor at Um al-Qur’a University, where he was arrested.

Dr Mohammed al-Khudari and Dr Hani al-Khudari have been subjected to gross human rights violations including enforced disappearance, arbitrary arrest and detention, being held incommunicado and in solitary confinement. Furthermore, both men were interrogated behind closed doors without the presence or participation of their lawyers. Their treatment and conditions of detention placed a great deal of stress and psychological pressure on both men, especially Dr Mohammed al-Khudari who was reportedly heard crying in his cell every night. The denial of access to adequate medical care deteriorated further the health conditions of Dr Mohammed al-Khudari, who received a diagnosis while in detention that his cancer had developed. Such conduct violates the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment.

The arrests of the two Palestinian nationals is part of a wider crackdown by the Saudi Arabian authorities on Palestinians residing in Saudi Arabia with a perceived link to Hamas de facto authorities. Since February 2019, the Saudi authorities have detained approximately 60 Palestinians visiting or residing in Saudi Arabia, including students, academics, and business men. According to the family members of the detained Palestinians, they were subjected to enforced disappearance, held in solitary confinement and detained incommunicado. Until this day, the detained Palestinians have been held in detention without charge or trial and have no access to legal representation.

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