Project Description

In prison since : September 24, 2017,

Ruqiya al-Muhareb

A Saudi academic and professor of modern science at Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University.

Believed reason for arrest:

  • The Saudi regime, led by Muhammad bin Salman, fears any possible opposition from the victim, his will to eliminate and silence the voices of any free opinion that could criticize some valuable changes within Saudi society, where the victim has a prominent scientific and societal standing.

Personal information

Marital status : Married

Date of birth : 1964

Profession : A Saudi academic and professor of modern science at Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University.

Place of residence : Riyadh

Arrest and jail information

Date of arrest: September 24, 2017,

Manner of arrest:

  1. The victim was arrested at dawn on September 24, 2017, when a SSF force stormed the victim’s family home in a horrific manner, and then arrested the victim in front of her husband and family without justification and without showing any legal basis.
  2. The arrest of the victim came as part of an extensive campaign in the same period that targeted Saudi intellectuals, advocates, academics and jurists, who refused direct affiliation to the campaign to promote Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and his programs.

Where held: Al-Ha’ir prison

Trial information

Charges: A set of public charges broadcasted by the Saudi media, in which the public figures who were arrested were described as working for foreign parties against the security and interests of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. All charges violate the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Court: Riyadh Criminal Court

Updates on trial :

After months of the end of the investigation, a high-ranking civil figure met her in February 2019 and told her and other women: Your matter will be solved by the king personally, and we ask you to write an amnesty request and without this you will not be released. She was forced to sign the amnesty request for release, and after signing it, she was surprised to find an appointment at the Specialized Criminal Court – Terrorism Court. Hours before the session, the case was transferred to the criminal court.

Verdict: None (detention without trial)

Date of the verdict: None (detention without trial)


Arbitrary arrest/ detention, Enforced disappearance

Violation details :

  1. Storming the victim’s home at night and terrorizing her and her family, which is contrary to the text of Article (40) of the Law of Criminal Procedures, which states that: People, their homes, offices and boats are a sanctuary that must be maintained, and the sanctity of the person protects his body, clothes, money, and any luggage.
  2. Not to notify the victim of the accusation upon arrest, which is in contravention of Article (116) of the Saudi Penal Procedures Law, which provides for informing the accused of the charges against them at the time of their arrest.
  3. Not to allow the victim access to a lawyer, which is contrary to the text of Article (4) of the Law of Criminal Procedure, which states that: Every accused has the right to seek the assistance of an agent or a lawyer to defend them in the investigation and trial stages.
  4. Failure to bring the victim to trial in the periods specified by law and in accordance with their procedures, which is in violation of Article (114) of the Saudi Penal Procedures System.
  5. Depriving the victim of their rights to communicate with the outside world and their relatives, and this is contrary to Article (119), which states that: In all cases, the investigator may order that the accused does not contact other prisoners or detainees, and that no one visit them for a period not exceeding sixty days if the investigation authority required this, without prejudice to the accused’s right to contact their agent or lawyer.
  6. The victim was subjected to enforced disappearance while being held in solitary confinement for 15 months, before being transferred to al-Ha’ir prison.
  7. The victim was subjected to physical torture to the extent that its effects were visible on her body for months.
  8. Intentionally subjecting the victim to psychological abuse, with the aim of harming their psychological and mental health.
  9. The inability to ascertain the circumstances of the victim’s detention now, the reasons for their detention and what they are being exposed to.


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