(WASHINGTON D.C.- Thursday, February 4, 2021) – Earlier today Saudi-American political prisoners Dr.  Bader al-Ibrahim and Salah al-Haidar were temporarily released from Saudi prisons pending trial in Saudi  Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court. Their next court date is on March 8, 2021, where they will continue facing unsubstantiated terrorism charges. Their release comes after 673 days of arbitrary detention. 

Responding to the temporary release of two American citizens in Saudi Arabia on February 4, 2021, the  Freedom Initiative’s Saudi Desk Officer Bethany al-Haidari said:  

“This is welcomed progress, even though it is long overdue. Dr. Bader al-Ibrahim and Salah al-Haidar should have never been jailed in the first place and their release should certainly not be on a ‘temporary’ basis. They have been detained, separated from loved ones, and tried as terrorists for simply expressing their views.  Peaceful dissent is not terrorism.”  

We at the Freedom Initiative, along with their family and friends are ecstatic about the news and welcome their pretrial release. We urge the Saudi authorities to build on this progress by dropping all charges against  Dr. al-Ibrahim and Mr. al-Haidar and allowing them to be reunited with their families in the United States.  

We would like to extend our deepest appreciation to the members of Congress across the aisle, civil society organizations, the State Department (particularly the office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage  Affairs, Ambassador Roger Carstens), and the National Security Council for championing Dr. Bader al-Ibrahim and Salah al-Haidar’s cases. Their release is much-welcomed progress and a step in the right direction that we hope moves toward the full resolution of the American citizens’ cases, the lifting of the travel ban and/or asset freeze restrictions on American families, and the release of other political prisoners in Saudi Arabia. 

For all media inquiries, please contact: Julia Pacetti, julia@jmpverdant.com, (917) 584-7846.