The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor has disclosed that several documents and testimonies show evidence that Saudi Arabian authorities have subjected three Libyan nationals to enforced disappearance for over 500 days, stressing Saudi Arabia’s responsibility for their enforced disappearance and calling on the Saudi authorities to immediately reveal their fate and whereabouts.
Muhammad Hussein Ali Al-Khadrawi, Mahmoud Ali Bashir Rajab, and Hassan Mohammed Salem Zuaait disappeared once they arrived at the Jeddah Airport to leave Saudi Arabia after performing Umrah in June 2017.
The monitor said the persons’ families stated that they know nothing of their whereabouts since they disappeared in Saudi Arabia, and the Libyan government has no record of their supposed entry into the country.
“A month and a half after detention, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the Libyan Consulate in a letter that the detained persons were returned to where they came from, which was interpreted as: returned to Libya. However, the Libyan Government denied, in a letter sent by the Libyan Consulate in Jeddah to the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that the three arrived in Libya.” The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor added.
“Contacting the Libyan Government of National Accord in Tripoli, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Interior denied such allegations,” said the Euro-Med Monitor.
The monitor indicated that in the letter, the Libyan Presidential Council’s government also denied any coordination regarding their extradition, stressing that it was not aware of the measures taken, and calling on the Saudi authorities to allow the Libyan Consul in Saudi Arabia to visit the detainees and learn about their whereabouts.
“Saudi Arabia’s letter, indicating that these persons were returned to where they came from, is vague, casting doubts on Saudi Arabia's intentions and credibility, especially after Jamal Khashoggi’s case,” said Sarah Pritchett, the Euro-Med’s spokeswoman.
Pritchett added that Saudi Arabia will remain responsible for the enforced disappearance of these individuals until it reveals their fate and informs those concerned of the destination it believes have been returned to.
The monitor remarked that families of the missing individuals fear that Saudi Arabia has handed over their sons to the Libyan government in eastern Libya, which is under the control of military commander Khalifa Haftar.
The Euro-Med Monitor adds that a prisoner detained in a jail under the command of Khalifa Haftar told them in a testimony that he had seen Muhammad Al-Khadrawi, one of the three subjected to enforced disappearance, being tortured by Haftar’s men.