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Rights row over Saudi detainee

SAUDI Arabia has been accused of breaching UN laws on human rights over its treatment of a Bahraini currently in police custody there. Former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Abdulla Majid Al Nuaimi, 27, was arrested at a checkpoint on the King Fahad Causeway on October 29.

The father-of-two has been held at an unknown location ever since.

It is understood his name was included on a list of nearly 1,000 Al Qaeda suspects accused of carrying out "acts of war" against Saudi Arabia.

But president of the now-dissolved Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), Nabeel Rajab, said Mr Al Nuaimi had not been allowed to hire a lawyer or see any of his family.

He claimed the electrical contractor also had no idea of the charges against him, violating numerous articles in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

"While we fully respect and appreciate our brothers in Saudi Arabia, we do not accept any of our citizens to be arrested in this arbitrary manner, which violates the simplest international norms," said Mr Rajab.

"Today, there are international standards and charters that should be respected as part of every country's role in the international community."

Mr Rajab called on Saudi authorities to immediately allow Mr Al Nuaimi to hire an attorney, meet his family and to reveal the reason for his arrest.

He also demanded all of Bahraini's former Guantanamo Bay prisoners be provided with financial and emotional support to help them lead a normal life.

Mr Al Nuaimi was arrested on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan in November 2001 on suspicion of having links with terrorist groups.

He spent almost four years at the Cuba-based prison camp, along with five other Bahrainis, before returning home in November 2005.

Human rights activists said police questioned Mr Al Nuaimi several times after his release from Guantanamo Bay and until recently had a travel ban imposed on him.

Guantanamo Bay legal team head Joshua Colangelo-Bryan, who represented all of the Bahraini detainees held in the Cuba-based prison camp, also demanded action on Mr Al Nuaimi.

"Abdulla spent years in Guantanamo without any due process," he said.

Hope

"As such, I can only hope that he is treated fairly by Saudi authorities and released immediately if - as news reports suggest - he was arrested simply because he drove from Bahrain to Saudi Arabia."

Another Bahraini, Abdulrahim Al Murbati, 27, is also being held in Saudi Arabia without charge or trial after his arrest in Riyadh in June 2003.

The GDN reported yesterday that a third man, Khalil Janahi, detained in April this year had been transferred to a prison in Dubai on Monday.

He holds Bahraini and UAE passports.

geoff@gdn.com.bh



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