We seek the support of all international human rights organizations and activists to exert all necessary pressure on the government of Saudi Arabia to immediately release a 64-year-old man, Abdullah Saleh Al-Muhanna, who was detained on 25 May 2009 by the Saudi authorities for holding prayer with his fellow Saudi Shia citizens in a prayer place attached to his house.

The Saudi authorities do not build, or permit building, mosques for Shiites communities in Khobar and Dammam, east of Saudi Arabia, and have continuously put pressure on the community leaders to close the existing Shia and Ismaileis prayer places, which have been used for more than 40 years.

Al-Muhanna, whose health is unstable and needs close medical attention since he had an open heart surgery last year, is detained in the Khobar Police Center and has been asked to sign a paper in which he would be legally obliged not to pray with others in the prayer place in the future. Al-Muhanna has served for thirty years as a government official holding a position of a mayor to few districts of Khobar, he is also a well-respected a community leader.

As background information, the authorities in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, the oil rich region with a majority of Shia, have been increasingly putting pressures on Shia communities in Dammam, Khobar and Ahsa to eliminate their religious activities and practices. Continuous arrests of their leaders and closing their mosques and community centers were remarkable signs of imposing religious discriminations against them.

We urge your support to our campaign to protect human rights and religious freedom in Saudi Arabia through writing to Saudi authorities and its diplomatic representatives and encouraging involvement of human rights organizations to report these violations.

The following demands are to be addressed to the Saudi authorities:

1- Immediate release of Abdulla Saleh Al-Muhanna due to his health condition and respecting his basic rights.

2- Allowing Shia and Ismaileis to practice their religious rights by building their prayer places and stopping the arrests of their leaders.

For more information:

Following is the contact information of Mr. Abdulla Al-Muhanna;

Home Address: Khobar, Causeway District, King Fahd Street

Home Telephone number: 00966-3-890- 1931

Mobile number (his brother): 00966504996038

Religious Freedom Campaign in Saudi Arabia

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