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Sudanese journalist held without charge in Saudi Arabia, fears extradition
September 9, 2015Reporters Without Borders has learned that Walid Eldoud Elmakki Elhussein, a Sudanese journalist resident in Saudi Arabia since 2000, has been held without charge for the past six weeks and, according to his family, could be extradited to Sudan.
As far as the Saudi authorities are concerned, he has broken no Saudi law. His brother, Hussai Eldoud Elmakki Elhussein, told Reporters Without Borders that his arrest was requested by the Sudanese intelligence services, who object to a website he edits call Al Rakoba.
Launched in 2005, Al Rakoba originally just had opinions but it gradually incorporated more and more news content and often has articles about Sudan and regional news developments. The authorities have been keeping a close eye on the site for years and have repeatedly blocked it, especially in 2010.
When Elhussein was arrested at his home on 23 July, six plainclothesmen and a uniformed policeman seized all his computer equipment and mobile phones.
His wife has been able to visit him three times and says he is being well treated. But his lawyer has not been allowed to see him. Elhussein reported that the officer in charge of his case told him he could be extradited to Sudan, where he fears being jailed and tortured.
We are concerned about the possibility of Elhusseins extradition to Sudan, Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.
If his extradition is confirmed, he has serious grounds for fearing persecution by the Sudanese security services, which have repeatedly threatened him in the past. In the absence of any official charge, we urge the Saudi authorities to free him at once. Failing that, his right to see his lawyer should be guaranteed and he should be told what he is charged with.
Sudan is ranked 174th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.
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