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STOCKHOLM - Skyline International for Human Rights condemns the decision of the Saudi authorities to try ten Egyptian men of the Nubian ethnicity on the grounds of organizing a seminar.

Tuesday, Skyline states that ten Egyptian men of the Nubian ethnicity are due to appear for their first hearing before the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh on 10 November 2021. It stresses that this decision fragrantly violets the right to peaceful assembly, expression of opinion, and civil activities.

The human rights foundation "Skyline" indicates that the detainees included Dr. "Farajallah Ahmed Youssef," the former head of the Nubian community in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. He was arrested with nine others on the pretext of a public symposium they intended to organize in October 2019.

"Skyline" states that the Saudi authorities had summoned Dr. "Farajallah" and his nine colleagues before holding a symposium they had announced to introduce the Nubian community to which they belong on the anniversary of the October 6 War, 1973. Thus, they were detained for 60 days in Al-Ha'ir prison.

Skyline further indicates that the General Directorate of Investigation, which represents the secret police and is affiliated with the Presidency of State Security, arbitrarily re-arrested the 10 Egyptian citizens on July 14, 2020. According to human rights sources, the ten detainees were transferred three months ago to "Asir Prison in Abha city, the administrative headquarter, without being allowed to meet with their lawyers or know charges against them.

For its part, "Skyline" stresses that what the Saudi authorities have done clearly and unjustifiably violate the international conventions that guarantee individuals the right o express their opinions and organize peaceful meetings and gathering. Article (19) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights stipulates that": Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

Skyline concludes its statement stating, "it is crucial to immediately and unconditionally end the arbitrary detention of the 10 Egyptian citizens. The Saudi authorities are fully responsible for protecting the existence of minorities and their national or ethnic identity.

Skyline finally urges the Saudi authorities to provide all legal guarantees for all groups and individuals to hold peaceful activities without being risked by prosecution or arrest. It furthers stresses that the Egyptian authorities should follow up the detainees' file and coordinate with authorities in Riyadh to ensure their release.