The family of Ahmed Al-Gizawy, an Egyptian detained in Saudi Arabia, has released a letter from him, pleading Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsy, to intervene on his behalf as well as that of fellow Egyptians detained in the kingdom.
“I write to you in my name and in the name of all Egyptians detained in Saudi Arabian prisons, to intervene to solve the problem of prisoners in Saudi Arabian jails,” the handwritten letter read, “yesterday me, today Najla, who will it be tomorrow?”
Najla Yehya Wafaa is also currently detained in Saudi Arabia after a business dispute with a Saudi princess. She was sentenced to five years in prison and 500 lashes in 2011 and had received 300 of her lashes by Ramadan last month. Her case outraged many human rights groups, who condemn the administering of lashings, considering the quantity administered to Wafaa to amount to “torture.”
“Mr President, the Egyptians abroad need a revolution like the 25 January revolution for the dignity of Egyptians humiliated abroad,” read the message, dated 6 September 2012.
Al-Gizawy, an Egyptian lawyer, was arrested in April at King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, for drug trafficking, a charge he denies. Al-Gizawy has been detained pending his trial, which reconvenes Wednesday 26 September.
Al-Gizawy previously worked to improve working and living conditions for the large Egyptian population living in Saudi Arabia. His wife, Shahenda Fathy, has criticised the Foreign Ministry and Egyptian government for doing little to intervene on behalf of her husband.
In August, Saudi Arabian ambassador to Egypt, Ahmed Qattan, announced royal pardons for 82 Egyptian detainees. However, Al-Gizawy was not included, as royal pardons do not customarily apply to those still standing trial.
The lack of an independent judiciary in Saudi Arabia has created uncertainty concerning the future of Al-Gizawy and a fellow Egyptian standing trial, Islam Bakr. Public pressure and protests at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Cairo led to its temporary closing and the brief recalling of its ambassador in April.