A humanitarian aid worker and a political prisoner since March 2018
AbdulRahman is a Saudi born and a son of an American family who are San Francisco, Bay Area residents. Abdulrahman was born 28 May 1983 in Riyadh. Growing up, he traveled a lot with his family who moved between the United States and Saudi Arabia. During different periods of his childhood he attended School in California, besides studying in Saudi Arabia.
In 2013, AbdulRahman graduated from Notre Dame De Namur University in California with a degree in Business Administration. After earning his degree, he returned to the kingdom in 2014 to work and contribute with other young fellow citizens. After nearly a year of searching for a job, he worked in research and training at the Ministry of Agriculture, then he joined the Red Cross/ Crescent, which he was passionate about. He worked in assisting the ambulance operation committee and coordinating rescue operations and emergency relief for patients and victims of accidents and crisis.
Humanitarian Aid Worker
On March 12, 2018, AbdulRahman was kidnapped by the Saudi secret police from his workplace at the Red Crescent Headquarters in Riyadh, in a mass crackdown on peaceful activists, critics and online commentators. They detained him without a warrant. They confiscated his phone and car and escorted him to an unknown location. They didn’t even allow him to call his family or inform them of his detention. For more than three years, his family have not seen him. AbdulRahman was held incommunicado, detained without charge, refused access to a lawyer or any contact with the world outside; according to witnesses he was severely tortured, including electric shocks, beating, breaking his bones, sexual assault and threats of murder.
Human Rights Defender
AbdulRahman is a humanitarian aid worker.
He has spent over three years in prison without any formal charge against him; illegally abducted for being critical of political, social, and economic issues in the Kingdom and for posting political satire and peaceful opinions on social media; he criticized gross human rights violation such as the bombing of Yemen civilians as well as addressing the economic challenges, poverty and unemployment in the kingdom.
The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has 3 times voiced her concerns about Abdul, a California graduate and son of an American family in her constituency. After the pressure from the US to reveal the fate of this American son who has disappeared in Saudi, Abdul was allowed to make a short phone call - where he shared with his father that he had never been charged nor brought to court and that he was promised to be released soon. But one week later he was rushed into a secret 'sham trial' in the Specialized Criminal Court. There was no lawyer, or any other attendees from diplomats or journalists. Even his father was denied access. He was charged with a list of vague and baseless charges of terrorism based only on his peaceful use of freedom of speech on Twitter.
After six appearances in a secret trial throughout the month of March '21 he was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment plus 20 more of travel ban. If this sentence is allowed to stand he will never again see his parents and family in California.
Abdul filed for 'appeal' on May 4th. After 4 months of radio silence, the court informed his family that his appeal hearing is next day on August 4th. Abdul presented the appeal response by the lawyer showing lack of any credible evidence to the persecutors' allegations and denied all the absurd allegations against him. The court haven't given a response and scheduled the next appeal hearing on September 13, during which Abdul wasn't present, followed by the latest hearing on Oct 5 2021, during which the court upheld the sentence. Added to all this mounting injustice, Abdul's family continue to be denied by Saudi officials from any communication with him. Any calls or visits are denied. Abdul's family and human right organizations believe it's a clear attempt to hide torture and human right abuses. Please help and join us to protest this brutal sentence and to raise awareness to the highest politicians worldwide who value human rights and have influence on Saudi Arabia.