A dissident Saudi activist has reportedly died in prison due to various forms of torture he was subjected to in jail and deliberate medical negligence, amid a crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman against pro-democracy campaigners, Muslim preachers and intellectuals in the country.
London-based and Arabic-language Nabaa television news network reported on Sunday that Ahmed Abdullah Abdulrahman Shaa’yi passed away at Tarfiya prison in Saudi Arabia’s north-central city of Buraydah on August 9.
The report added that Shaa’yi’s body has been handed over to his family, and a funeral procession was held for him on Saturday.
The rights group Prisoners of Conscience, which is an independent non-governmental organization seeking to promote human rights in Saudi Arabia, also confirmed the report in a post on its official Twitter page, stating that the circumstances surrounding the dissident’s death remain unknown.
It noted that Shaa’yi had been kept in prison for a year and a half.
On August 3, dissident Saudi cleric Sheikh Saleh Abdulaziz al-Dumairi died of health complications he had developed at Tarfiya prison.
Dumairi was apparently suffering from heart problems, and was being kept in solitary confinement.He had been detained on several occasions in the past over his political activism, and support for prisoners of opinion.
Saudi Arabia has lately stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners.
Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to target activism.