Supporters in Egypt, Saudi Arabia demand release of jailed activist Gizawy
Ahmed Al-Gizawy - YOUM7

CAIRO: Shirin Al-Gizawy, sister of lawyer and activist Ahmed Al-Gizawy who was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2012, said on Thursday that a number of human rights organizations in Egypt and Saudi Arabia have launched a joint campaign to demand the release of her brother and to mark the anniversary of his arrest, Youm7 reported.

Gizawy said a protest will be organized in Cairo in front of the Press Syndicate and simultaneous protests will be held in Jeddah, Ankara, Turkey, and London, England, in front of the Saudi embassies.

She also said that Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Droit & Justice Association in London, in addition to five other human rights organizations, have declared their solidarity with the detained activist, who was sentenced to five years in prison and 300 lashes, Youm7 reported.

On April 17, 2012, Saudi security forces arrested Gizawy when he arrived at the Jeddah airport for his criticism of the Saudi government, and for filing a case with the Egyptian judiciary against the Saudi king to demand the release of Egyptians illegally detained in Saudi Arabia, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information stated.

Gizawy’s wife told the BBC that he had arrived Jeddah for a pilgrimage, not knowing he had been sentenced in absentia to a year in prison and 20 lashes for insulting the Saudi king.

Ahmed Kattan, the Saudi Ambassador to Egypt, said in a statement released by the Saudi Embassy, “The whole story is a complete fabrication.”

Kattan added, “No Saudi court has passed a sentence for flogging the detained Egyptian,” and “Saudi laws and regulations do not permit the authorities to put a non-Saudi citizen on trial in absentia for acts committed outside its territory,” Al-Ahram reported.

Saudi officials said Gizawy had been arrested at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah for possession of 21,000 Xanax anti-anxiety pills, which are banned in the country.

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