Haydee Dijkstal acts as international counsel for UN Urgent Appeal on behalf of Australian and Saudi dual national, Osama Alhasani
On 5 March 2021, an urgent appeal was filed with UN Special Rapporteurs on behalf of Mr Osama Alhasani, an Australian and Saudi Arabian dual national, who was arrested in Morocco on 8 February 2021 and who is subject to an extradition request from Saudi Arabia. Haydee Dijkstal of 33 Bedford Row Chambers was instructed by Mr Alhasani’s family to raise violations to Mr Alhasani’s rights in Morocco, and the credible risk of significant violations if he is extradited to Saudi Arabia, with the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of freedom of opinion and expression, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
The submissions raised concerns that Mr Alhasani is being targeted by the Government of Saudi Arabia for political opinions he has expressed which have been critical of the Government, and that his rights to freedom of expression and association are therefore being violated as result of his arrest in Morocco, and might be irreparably violated if he is extradited to Saudi Arabia. Special Rapporteurs were asked to look to Saudi Arabia’s evidenced pattern of abuse and violations of detainees as demonstrating the credible and real risk that Mr Alhasani will not receive a fair trial in Saudi Arabia, and that his fundamental due process rights and right to health and safety would be at significant risk in Saudi Arabia.
Mr Osama Alhasani’s extradition proceedings began in Morocco on 3 March, and will resume on Monday, 8 March. His arrest, detention and potential extradition has been covered by The Guardian, The Australian and ABC News.