Various reactions to the death of Saudi writer Saleh Al-Shehhi, who had been detained since 2018, continue to coincide with the funeral of his funeral today, as he was buried in the graves of Al-Rafha in his hometown amid large crowds.
Al-Shehhi died of the Corona virus, which he contracted in the middle of last month, and after his release from prison.
Al-Shehhi was arrested by the Saudi authorities in 2018, after appearing on the "Ya Hala" program on the "Gulf Rotana" channel, in which he spoke about corruption within the royal court, but his health deteriorated after he was released last May.
Blessed are alive and dead,
O noble lord, scenes from the funeral of the author # Saleh_ Al-Shehhi pic.twitter.com/IzsWkbNjr8
- Detained Patriots (@mtqln) July 21, 2020
Amnesty International expressed its deep sadness at the death of al-Shehhi and called on the Saudi authorities to release political detainees.
The organization’s account in the Gulf said on Twitter, today, Tuesday, “We are sad to hear that.” He pointed out that Al-Shehhi “spent his last years in prison (since January 2018) away from his loved ones, after expressing his views peacefully.”
Aaah, my heart ache on you
Watan Saleh Al-Shehhi (@WatanAlshehi) July 20, 2020
The organization called on the Saudi authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all political detainees, stressing that "freedom of expression is not a crime, and it is a human right."
Activists reacted extensively to al-Shehhi's death, and buried him today, Tuesday, stressing his integrity and grief over the loss of the homeland of a man like him.
The daughter of the late writer, Watan al-Shehhi, tweeted, "Oh brother, my heart ache on you."
We are saddened to hear that #Saudi writer & journalist Saleh al-Shehi has passed away. He spent his final years in prison (since Jan 2018) away from his loved ones, for peacefully expressing his views. Rest in peace Saleh. https://t.co/SD2Patne6G
- Amnesty Gulf (@amnestygulf) July 21, 2020
For his part, the Prisoners of Conscience account said, “The death of Al-Shehhi, after his release from prison a few weeks spent in intensive care, raises suspicions that his death came as a result of intentional health negligence within the prison, and raises concern on all prisoners of opinion, especially the sick and elderly.
Al-Baladat’s account also published a passage from Al-Shehhi’s speech in which he described the state of the Saudi writers, noting that 90% of the positive changes in the country’s reform process carried the writers’s banner, but he indicated that the newspapers controlled the views of their writers.
Mughdardoun said of Al-Shehhi that it is "an example to be followed by the honorable journalist. In this time, fewer people find an honorable media person as a good man, Saleh was, as his name, Saleh, may God have mercy on you, oh good, the nation."