Morocco to hand over Saudi man facing extradition, says brother
A Saudi Arabian man facing extradition from Morocco for anti-government activism in his home country is to be handed over to Saudi authorities on Monday, his brother told Middle East Eye.
Rights groups have warned that Hassan al-Rabea, 26, will likely be subjected to "enforced disappearance, torture, and arbitrary sentences that may lead to his death" in Saudi Arabia.
'They gave me papers to sign, but I refused, and they told me that even if you did not sign, we will hand you over'
- Hassan al-Rabea
His brother, Ahmed al-Rabea - who is based in Canada - told MEE that his brother had spoken to him and told him the news.
"They gave me papers to sign, but I refused, and they told me that even if you did not sign, we will hand you over," he quoted his brother as saying.
Al-Rabea was detained on 14 January at Marrakesh Airport on an arrest warrant issued at the request of Saudi authorities who are seeking to try him for leaving the kingdom “irregularly” with the help of “terrorists”.
The European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (ESOHR) has called Moroccan authorities "partners in the crime" and labelled the extradition a "flagrant violation of international law".
Last week, a Moroccan court ruled that al-Rabea could be extradited, despite concerns about ill-treatment in Saudi Arabia.
Ahmed said it was a "disappointing decision".
"This shows that Moroccan law is just a cheap commodity for Saudi Arabia," he said.
Officially the ruling cannot be appealed.
The MENA Rights Group said on Monday it had submitted al-Rabea’s case to the UN Committee Against Torture, "urging the Committee to request interim measures of protection from Morocco."
Rights groups have said Hassan is just the latest member of his family to be punished for anti-government protests in Qatif that relatives participated in years ago.
Hassan’s eldest brother, Ali, is in prison facing the death sentence for alleged terrorism. Ahmed told MEE last week the “terrorist” whom Ali is alleged to have helped is Munir, another al-Rabea brother who is wanted for protesting in 2011.
The family, who are members of Saudi’s Shia minority, live in Awamiya, a town in the Qatif province that has been the site of protests over government discrimination against the community.
The Switzerland-based MENA Rights Group said it has submitted an urgent request to the United Nations Committee against Torture to stop al-Rabea's extradition.
Three months ago, the Arab Interior Ministers Council, an arm of the Arab League that coordinates law enforcement between countries, issued a request for Hassan’s arrest at Saudi Arabia’s direction.
Alexis Thiry, the legal advisor for MENA Rights Group, who has seen the warrant, said it is the second extradition case in recent months to involve the council, occasionally referred to as the Arab Interpol.
In November, Sherif Osman, an Egyptian-American dual national who had been critical of the Egyptian government, was detained in the United Arab Emirates and faced extradition to Egypt based on a request from the council. He was freed in December.
Thiry said he is concerned that members of the Arab League may be using the council to avoid the scrutiny that would come with notices issued by the Lyon-based Interpol at their request.
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