Saudi Writer Dies from COVID-19 Shortly after Release from Prison
Story Code : 875750
Saleh Al-Shehi was a prominent Saudi columnist reporting on corruption in Saudi Arabia and worked under the late Jamal Khashoggi when he was editor of Al-Watan, Middle East Monitor reported.
Al-Shehi was imprisoned in January 2018 for “insulting the royal court” after he criticized the so-called corruption drive in Saudi on the TV show Yahalla.
In November 2017 top officials and businessmen were detained in the five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh until they struck financial deals with authorities.
Al-Shehi was also critical of the kingdom’s labor and economics policy.
After his release from prison in May, Al-Shehi was put on a ventilator for three weeks before he died on June 19.
There are over 251,800 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia, according to the UK-based NGO Equality Now.
Saudi prison authorities have failed to provide medical care to detainees who are ill. In April, pro-democracy leader Abdullah Al-Hamid died after being denied treatment for his heart condition.
The Saudi government has used the coronavirus as a cover to indefinitely postpone the trial date of prominent women’s rights defender Loujain Al-Hathloul.
They have also denied her family visits.
Loujain’s sister has questioned whether the Saudi authorities are using COVID-19 as an opportunity to kill Loujain: Have they started preparing her for death so they can hand her over to die in our hands to rid themselves of the responsibility of killing her as they did with Saleh Al-Shebhi when they handed him over to his family to die with them?