Fri 15 May 2020:
Detained Saudi cleric, Sheikh Salman Al-Ouda, has contacted his family with recordings of the calls being shared on social media.
Prisoners of Conscience Twitter account, which is concerned with the rights of political detainees in Saudi Arabia, shared the phone call between Al-Ouda and his mother. He could be heard reassuring his mother, saying: “I swear to God I am fine.”
His mother tells him about the Ramadan arrangements in their home: “We’ve setup a mosque at home, pray taraweeh [evening prayers]; Moaz comes here and prays with us.”
Al-Ouda then speaks to his daughter Ghada, who inquires after his health: “Hello, how are you? We miss you. Tell us, how is your health?” Al-Ouda replied saying that he is fine and in good health.
References to the taraweeh prayer, which are only held in Ramadan, and Ghada’s questions regarding how her father is coping with fasting prove the recording is from the Muslim holy month of fasting, which began in late April.
Al-Ouda was arrested in September 2017 and charged with collaborating with the royal family of Qatar after posting on Twitter that he hoped the two countries would reconcile.
Saudi, along with the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, launched a blockade of Qatar in June 2017 accusing it of supporting terrorism, claims Doha vehemently denies.
His son, Abdullah, revealed late last year that his father was being tortured in detention.
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