Free Tortured Activist Jailed Without Charge


Target: Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, King and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia

Goal: Free a man who has been detained without charge and who is in need of medical treatment.

For years, Dr. Zuhair Kutbi has been arrested, detained, imprisoned, fined, and harassed as a result of his peaceful political beliefs. Most recently, he was arrested and beaten at his home and then taken to prison where he is at high risk of further torture and ill-treatment. Sign the petition and demand that he be released immediately.

Dr. Kutbi has not been charged with any crime, but it is widely believed that he was arrested as a result of his appearance on the TV show Fi al-Samim (To The Point). In the appearance, he argued that the government of Saudi Arabia should transition to a constitutional monarchy.

Just over two weeks later, he was arrested and beaten at his home by plainclothes security officers and masked, uniformed officers. He was moved to three separate prisons before ending up in Mecca General Prison, where he remains in dire need of medical treatment; he is recovering from a cancer-related operation and also suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure.

Dr. Kutbi is a prisoner of conscience and must be released immediately. Sign the petition and demand that Saudi Arabian authorities respect human rights–even the rights of those who may disagree with the government.


Your Majesty,

I am writing to convey my deep concern for the well-being of Dr. Zuhair Kutbi and to express my outrage at the circumstances surrounding his arrest and imprisonment. He is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for the peaceful expression of his political views, and as such he must be released immediately.

Dr. Kutbi was arrested at his home about two weeks after saying publicly that he believed in transitioning Saudi Arabia to a constitutional monarchy. Plainclothes security officers and masked, uniformed officers came to his home, arrested him, beat him with their rifle butts, and then transferred him to three separate prisons before sending him to Mecca General Prison. He continues to be at risk of further torture or ill-treatment. He is also in dire need of medical care, as he suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure and is recovering from cancer-related surgery.

International human rights standards prohibit the use of torture and the withholding of necessary medical treatment. Perhaps even more fundamentally, they grant all people–whether they agree with the government or not–the right to freedom of expression. Dr. Kutbi has done nothing wrong. Release him immediately.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Nicolas Raymond

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