Prisoner of the Month February 2005 Ali Al-Domaini

The Saudi poet Ali Al-Domaini was one of three leading reformist intellectuals who were arrested in March last year for their political activities, along with eight other democracy activists who were subsequently released.

Al-Domaini and his two colleagues were put on trial in August, but the case was adjourned two months later when the defendants refused to answer questions in a closed hearing. Al-Domaini remains in detention, and was not allowed to see his dying father, who passed away in October.

The author of three volumes of poetry and one novel, he has campaigned for a move to constitutional monarchy and democracy in Saudi Arabia. But he is accused by the authorities of threatening national unity, doubting the independence of the Saudi judiciary, organising meetings and justifying violence, amongst other charges. The Saudi legal system is based on sharia, but it is unclear what punishment he might face if found guilty.

Please send appeals to:

Minister of Justice

HE Dr Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim Al-Sheikh

Ministry of Justice

University Street

Riyadh 11137

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Fax: 00 966 1 401 1741

Jonathan Fryer

(Member, Writers in Prison Committee, English PEN)

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