Saudi authorities to accelerate trial of cleric Al-Ouda

RIYADH

Saudi authorities moved the prominent Saudi cleric Salman al-Ouda to a prison in Riyadh to accelerate his trial which was scheduled to be in a month, Abdullah, the son of al-Ouda said on his Twitter account.

He also said that the family was “surprised by a call from the prison management saying that Salman al-Ouda was moved in a hurry to Riyadh, to accelerate his trial”.

His father’s trial was supposed to be in a month, he added.

Saudi authorities accuse al-Ouda of being part of a “scheme to destabilize the country,” the charge that many observers say it is “politically motivated”.

Usually, the Saudi courts don’t expose details regarding its trial sessions and sometimes never mention the names of the defendants in suspected cases.

In September 2017, the Saudi authorities arrested several prominent scholars, reformists and human rights activists including Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, Salman al-Ouda, Awad al-Qarni, Ali al-Omari and others.

In July, Amnesty International called upon the Saudi authorities to unconditionally release al-Ouda, and other scholars and activists.

Recently, sources said that the Saudi authorities intend to issue death penalties against those scholars. Yet, no official comment was made by the Saudi authorities to deny these allegations.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara
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