(Washington, DC) – Over 130 reformers Sunday signed a statement of solidarity with prominent reformers who were arrested by the Saudi government last week, and are still in prison. The statement called for the release of the imprisoned reformers, and for expediting reforms.

The following is the text of the statement.

A Call for Solidarity

On March 16, 2004, we, the reform activists in the Kingdom, were surprised by the security apparatus’ arrest of a dozen leading national reformers among them Shaikh Suliman AlRashoodi, Dr, Abdalah Al-Hamed, Mohamed Saeed Taybe, Dr. Tawfeeq Al-Qusiair, Dr. Matrook Al-Faleh, Najeeb Al-Kunaizi, Khaled Al-Ojaimi, Dr. Hamad Al-Kanhal, Ali Al-Dumaini, Dr. Khaled Al-Humaid, Dr Adnan Al-Shikas, Amir Abu Khamseen, AdbulRahman Al-Lahem.

The government justified arresting these reformers on the charge they “issued communiqués that does not serve the unity of the nation and the strength of the society that are based on Islamic Sharia”

We find these arrests extremely discouraging as they come at the time when the government announced the establishment of the ‘National Committee for Human Rights’ which begun its activities by attending the UN Commission for Human Rights in Geneva.

These jailed reformers’ communiqués included legitimate demands to obtain the righteousness of the land and her citizens, and to gain their legitimate rights.

These rights and obligations are assured by Islamic Sharia, and the principals of human rights. Furthermore, these communiqués urged the upholding of three principals: Islam, Unity of the Nation, and The Leadership.

These communiqués are pure of any violations of the law and regulations of the Kingdom. Also they were submitted openly to the political leadership, and received official acceptance publicly.

For these reasons, we see this type of action, as a disservice to the march of reforms in the country. Thus, we call for; the immediate release of the prisoners of conscious; and the expedition of the pace of reformers to protect the nation from dire dangers that surround her internally and externally. We also demand that the prisoners are allowed the right to appoint lawyers, have access to their families, and be treated in a humane manner which they deserve.

Everyone who is anxious and concerned  with the interest of the nation cannot stand but in solidarity with these reformers, and participate in the demands of the reformers, which is the true guarantee to the protection of the internal front and reinforcement of its gaps in order to prevent opportunists from penetrating it.

We announce our solidarity with these prisoners and their legitimate demands.

May Allah protect our nation from all harm, and may He guide us all to the path of goodness.

Sunday, March 21, 2004