Leading Saudi religious scholar Salman al-Odah has been referred to a secret trial in Riyadh after nearly a year in detention, his son said in a series of tweets on Wednesday.
Odah, 61, is an internationally renowned Sunni Muslim scholar and cleric known for his progressive views on controversial social issues.
He was detained from his home in Riyadh on 10 September 2017, along with 20 other people, as part of a crackdown that saw many Islamic clerics detained after Mohammed bin Salman became the kingdom’s crown prince and heir to the throne last June.
The wave of arrests also targeted feminist and human rights activists and powerful business figures in what has been seen as a campaign to purge Saudi Arabia of dissent.
According to Abdullah al-Odah, the cleric’s US-based son, his father called him to inform him of being transferred suddenly from Zehban Prison in Jeddah to Al-Haer Prison in Riyadh.
“He does not know anything on why he was transferred,” Abdullah wrote on Twitter.
He added that a prison official told him that his father has been referred to “a secret trial” without providing any detail on the charges or location of the trial.
“In such a trial, no one is allowed to attend, and there does not seem to be any real due process,” he tweeted.
Abdullah added that his family requested more information from the general prosecution, but were told the case is being dealt with by what he described as the state security apparatus, not the prosecution.
“We do not trust secret and sudden trials, held without any disclosure of information, and without the presence of lawyers or independent organizations, without clear charges. We hold the government fully responsible for my father’s safety,” he tweeted.
Source: Middle East Eye