Saudi Arabia: 36 Days in Jail for a Human Rights Sign

Saudi Arabia's harsh crackdown on demonstrations has led many to start experimenting with new methods for showing dissent. A public hunger strike was one example that we have reported. In a series of tweets, Saudi Twitter user Mohammad al-Olayan told his own story of writing a human rights sign, namely “No to arbitrary detainment,” on his car.

@2wordsprisoner: في يوم الأحد 16-12-2012 القي القبض علي من قبل شرطة الطوارئ اثناء عودتي من العمل بسبب وجود عبارة لا للاعتقالات التعسفية
@2wordsprisoner: مكتوبة على زجاج سيارتي الخلفي, ثم تم تسليمي الى شرطة المنار بعد تصوير السيارة,ثم بدأ التحقيق معي احد العسكر والضابط المناوب وقد انكرت انني
@2wordsprisoner: من قام بكتابة العبارة وقلت انني وجدتها مكتوبه فجر يوم السبت اثناء خروجي للعمل ولم اتمكن من إزالتها لإنها كتبت بإستخدام بخاخ بوية صعب
@2wordsprisoner: الإزالة,وقد بصمت على هذه الاقوال, ثم طلبت من الضابط ان يسمح لي بالخروج حتى لو خروج بكفالة لأنني لم ارتكب جرم او مخالفة فرفض ذلك وقال
@2wordsprisoner:انني موقوف لديهم للتحقيق,ثم طلب مني خفير التوقيف أن اسلم جوالي ومفاتيحي لكي ادخل التوقيف,ثم اقتادني الى التوقيف الجماعي فرفضت الدخول بحجة
@2wordsprisoner:ان المكان مزدحم جدا جدا ولامكان لي والوضع الإنساني سيئ للغاية, فقال العسكري: اقول ادخل بلا وضع انساني بلا خرابيط, فرفضت ثم اقتادني إلى
@2wordsprisoner:زنزانة انفرادي متسخة ومليئة بالحشرات بسبب وجود حمام بداخلها به تسريبات وأوساخ أجلكم الله فرفضت الدخول, ثم اقتادني إلى الممر وقال إنه
@2wordsprisoner: لم يتبقى مكان غير الممر لكي تنام فيه,فقلت ان حال الممر افضل من حال التوقيف والزنزانه, وبالفعل جعلني أنام في الممر بعد أن وضع القيد بقدمي
@2wordsprisoner:وربط القيد بباب حديدي, ونمت وقدمي مقيدة بالباب حتى الفجر, ثم تم ادخالي للتوقيف الجماعي بعد الفجر, وفي الصباح استدعيت للذهاب الى هيئة

On Sunday December 16th, I was arrested by emergency forces on my way back from work because of a “No to arbitrary detainment” sign on my car's rear glass. I was transferred to al-Manar police [station] after my car had been photographed. A policeman started the interrogation and I denied responsibility. I told them that I had found the writing at dawn when I was about to leave to work and I couldn't remove it because the ink was irremovable. I affirmed my statements with a fingerprint and I asked the policeman to allow me to leave even if this requires a third person since I did not commit any crime and did not violate any law, but he refused and told me that I am under detainment for interrogation. Then a policeman asked me to hand my mobile phone and my keys and took me to a very, very crowded communal cell with inhumane conditions. The policemen told me [to stop talking about humanity and get in,] but I refused to do so. He then took me to a solitary confinement cell, but it was leaking and full of dirt so I refused to get in so he took me to a hallway and said that no place left but this one I told him that this was a better place, so he tied me to an iron door then they took me to the communal cell at dawn […]

al-Olayan continued by reporting further interrogation in which he was asked whether he had attended the public trial of two of Saudi Political and Civil Rights Association's (ACPRA) co-founders (which we have a Special Coverage for!) ACPRA found out about his arrest so they asked a volunteer lawyer to help him.
al-Olayan was finally sent to court and he continued to deny responsibility. The judge issued an order to release him, after 36 days, on the condition of attending further sessions if he was ever called.

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