Posting on Facebook, protesting, and going to a funeral are among the reasons why Saudi Arabia is set to execute a woman human rights defender for the first time.
Israa al-Ghomgham, 29, has been imprisoned since 2015, along with her husband Moussa al-Hashem. Both were jailed for involvement in peaceful anti-government protests in Qatif, in the east of the country. She is currently being held in the al Mabahith prison in Dammam, eastern Saudi Arabia.
On August 6, Ghomgham appeared in front of the Specialised Criminal Court—used for terrorism cases—in the country’s capital, Riyadh. The public prosecutor recommended death sentences for Ghomgham, Hashem and four other defendants.
The final hearing in Ghomgham’s case will be held on October 28, when a judge will either confirm or overturn the death penalty. If upheld, the case will go to King Salman bin Abdulaziz for final ratification, after which the beheading will be carried out.
Here’s al Ghomgham’s charge list, according to the court documents released by Amnesty:
-Violating Royal Decree 44/A for “participating in protests in al Qatif and documenting these protests on social media.”
-“Providing moral support to rioters by participating in funerals of protesters killed during clashes with security forces.”
-“Committing forgery by using the passport photo of another woman on her Facebook account.”
-“Violating Article 6 of the Anti-Cyber Crime law” through, among other things, advocating for protests and posting photos and videos of protests on Facebook.
The Regional Coalition of Women Human Rights Defenders in MENA is concerned that Saudi Arabia is trying to set a precedent, and is trying to make an example out of Israa al-Ghomgham, the first woman in the country to face execution for her activism.
Israa is a brave woman human rights defender, who actively participated joining pro-democracy protests and calling for the release of prisoners of conscience.
We stand in solidarity with Israa al-Ghomgham and demand Saudi authorities to:
-Drop all charges against her and release her immediately and unconditionally.
-Ensure her physical and psychological well-being. Little is known of her treatment during her detention at the GDI prison, but in late 2017 her family indicated a deterioration in her health and psychological condition during her time in detention.
TAKE ACTION NOW:
We ask all supporters to please write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet using the hashtag #ReleaseIsraaAlGhomgham and #InSolidarityWithIsraa urging the Saudi authorities to act on the above recommendations.
Contact the following officials:
King and Prime Minister
His Majesty King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques
Office of His Majesty the King
Royal Court, Riyadh
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: (via Ministry of Interior)
+966 11 403 3125 (please keep trying)
Ambassador Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz,
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
601 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington DC 20037
Phone: (202) 342-3800 I Fax: 202 295 3625
Contact Form: https://www.saudiembassy.net/contact