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Startseite Urgent Actions 2023 01 Man at risk of forcible return and torture
UA 012/23
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Last night, the Court of Cassation issued an advisory opinion approving Hassan Al-Rabea’s deportation. The Prime Minister could sign off the deportation request at any moment.

The Prime Minister is present on all social media platforms (listed below) and appears to care about his image in front of the international community so a fast and bright global spotlight on Hassan is key right now.

Instagram: @azizakhannouch
Twitter: @chefgov_ma

Model Tweet: #Morocco’s Cassation Court issued an advisory opinion approving the extradition of #Saudi national Hassan Al Rabea. If deported, he could face torture. We call on @ChefGov_ma to release him immediately in line with Morocco’s obligations under int'l law! [Link to UA + Graphic]

Man at risk of forcible return and torture

AI-Index: MDE 29/6402/2023

On 14 January 2023, Moroccan security officers detained Saudi citizen Hassan Al Rabea at Marrakesh airport at the request of Saudi Arabia who has charged him with terrorism- related crimes. He remains in detention in Rabat, the capital, and is at risk of forcible return to Saudi Arabia where he could face serious human rights violations, including torture and other ill-treatment. The Moroccan authorities must release him and under no means carry out his extradition request.


Hassan Al Rabea, 26, who left Saudi Arabia in 2021 and had settled in Morocco for about six months, was arrested based on a warrant issued by Saudi Arabia to the Arab Interior Ministers Council, a cooperative body related to the internal security and criminal matters of many Arab states. He is currently being detained in Rabat’s Tiflet 2 prison pending an advisory opinion from Rabat’s Court of Cassation about Saudi Arabia’s extradition request, after which a final decision is made by the Prime Minister.

If deported, he would likely be tried before the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) in Saudi Arabia. Amnesty research shows that every stage of the judicial process before the SCC is tainted with gross human rights abuses such as the denial of access to a lawyer, incommunicado detention, and convictions based solely on so-called ‘confessions’ extracted under torture. The SCC appeal process is also opaque and shrouded in secrecy.

Since 2016, Amnesty has documented the execution of 31 men from Saudi Arabia’s Shi’a Muslim minority, to which Hassan Al Rabea belongs, following grossly unfair trials before the SCC under vague counter-terror and anti-cybercrime laws. Saudi Arabian authorities have historically discriminated against the Shi’a Muslim minority and subjected them to persecution.

More than 100 Saudi Arabian Shi’a activists have been tried before the SCC on vague and wide-ranging charges arising from their opposition to the government, including peaceful criticism in speeches or on social media, participation in anti-government protests and alleged involvement in violent attacks or espionage.

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