A well-known Islamic scholar died in a Saudi Arabian prison on Tuesday having been detained since 2016 after sending a “secret advice letter” to the Royal Court, reported Prisoners of Conscience. The group focuses on the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia.
Sheikh Fahd Al-Qadi was one of the most prominent religious preachers affiliated with the Awakening Movement in Saudi Arabia.
“We received confirmation about the death of Sheikh Fahd Al-Qadi in prison yesterday,” said Prisoners of Conscience. “He was sentenced last month to six years in prison.”
The dead man’s cousin and brother-in-law, Ahmed Al-Qadi, is a Professor of Islamic doctrine and movements at Qassim University. “Yesterday,” he wrote, Sheikh Fahd Bin Sulaiman Bin Mohammed Al-Qadi died while practicing patience and endurance. May Allah forgive Abu Abdullah and award him a status of honour among righteous believers.”
The Qassim region lies between Madinah and Riyadh in central Saudi Arabia; it is a stronghold of the Awakening Movement. Sheikh Al-Qadi was best known for his work with the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice and his constant objections to social openness.
He called for the preservation of the conservative nature of traditional Saudi society.
The Kingdom’s authorities arrested him several times on charges of abusing his jurisdiction as a member of the Commission. However, each detention rarely exceeded a few days before he was released.
He was arrested for “incitement against the authorities”.
Thousands of political prisoners are believed to be held in Saudi Arabia. They include prominent clerics such as Salman Al-Awdah, a famous Islamic author who was arrested in 2017 and is now under threat of execution.
Liberal and women’s rights activists, such as Loujain al-Hathloul, have also been imprisoned.
Hathloul’s family allege that she was tortured for her role in the women rights movement.
Last August, another cleric, Sheikh Saleh Al-Dumairi, died in prison in the Al-Qassim region after not receiving treatment for his heart condition.
We confirm that Sheikh Fahd al-Qadi died because of intentional health neglect in prison, and he was only taken to hospital ONE DAY before death although he needed hospitalization weeks before.
(video is from his funeral today)#وفاة_الشيخ_المحتسب_فهد_القاضي pic.twitter.com/9uFjfqUcLN
— Prisoners of Conscience (@m3takl_en) November 13, 2019
According to the Prisoners of Conscience Account. Al-Qadi’s family accuse authorities of denying him adequate medical treatment, which led to his death.
Before his imprisonment, Sheikh Fahd Al-Qadi was based in the Al-Qassim region of central Saudi Arabia, a stronghold of the Sahwa movement.
He became well known for his work with the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prohibition of Vice – also known as the Religious Police – which enforced Islamic rules and mores on society.
Al-Qadi opposed the loosening of social restrictions and called for the preservation of a conservative society.