Saudi Arabia: Lead protestor held incommunicado in Al-Tabakh

Fadhel Makki Al-Manasif, a 25-year-old human rights defender from the Qatif region in eastern Saudi Arabia, was detained on 1 May 2011 at Al-Awamieh police station after answering a summons issued by Saudi Criminal Investigation Services (CIS).

On 30 April 2011, several CIS agents came to Fadhel Al-Manasif's home, who was absent at the time, and told his father that Fadhel should present himself to the CIS at Al-Awamief police station.

After answering his summons on the morning of 1 May 201, Fadhel Al-Manasif was immediately arrested - his hands and feet were cuffed, before being he transferred to Al-Kutaief police station.

According to his family, on 2 May 2011, Fadhel Al-Manasif was taken to Al-Takhbah police in Saudi Arabia's Eastern province, where he is currently held incommunicado.

On 2 May 2011, Alkarama sent Fadhel Al-Manasif's case as an urgent appeal to the Un Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, as well as the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and the protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Although there is no official reason for Fadhel Al-Manasif's arrest, as he has neither been issued a warrant nor presented before a judge, sources alleged that he was arrested due to his participation in recent peaceful sit-in protests in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabian demonstrators are calling for human rights reforms, particularly an end to arbitrary arrests and detention with charge or trial.

Fadhel Al-Manasif had recently been invited on several occasions to negotiate with the Saudi authorities on behalf of the peaceful protestors. On 8 March 2011, Fadehl Al-Manasif met with Mohamed Ben Fehed Ben Abdulaziz, the Emir of Saudi Arabia's Eastern province, and on 26 April 2011 with Abdellah Al-Othman, the Governor of Qatif province, in order to reach an agreement regarding protestors' demands.

It is very likely that Fadhel Al-Manasif was arrested over something he said during these meetings, which was obviously counter to the intentions of the ruling regime.

Alkarama requests Fadhel Al-Manasif's immediate release and that Saudi Arabia take all the necessary steps to refrain from arresting and persecuting of human rights defenders.

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