Joint statement: Unfair sentences against 10 Egyptian Nubians in Saudi Arabia

Press Release

13 October 2022

The undersigned organizations condemn the unjust sentences ordered by the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh on Monday, October 10, 2022, against 10 Nubian Egyptians in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. “Sayed Hashem” was sentenced to 16 years of imprisonment, and “Adel Fakir” was imprisoned for 14 years. As for the rest of the sentences, they ranged from 10 to 12 years. The families of the detainees were unable to attend the hearing or receive sentences from the court; To find out the details of the provisions and their terms.

The facts of the case go back to a symposium that the Nubian family planned to organize in Riyadh on October 25, 2019, to celebrate the most prominent Nubians participating in the October 1973 war, symposium announcement placed an image of Field Marshal Tantawi, and sergeant major, Ahmed Idris, and the Nuba soldiers who participated in the war.

The ten were arrested prior to the symposium and were subjected to enforced disappearance and interrogation without the presence of a lawyer. Investigations took place about their political views regarding the issue of the return of displaced Nubians from their homes between 1963 and 1964 during the construction of the High Dam, and the reason for putting the image of Field Marshal Tantawi but not the image of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

From the beginning of the case until the present moment, there is an absence of intervention from the Egyptian government's relevant bodies, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of State for Immigration and Egyptians Abroad, or the Egyptian Consulate in Riyadh, despite the intimate relations between the leaders of the two countries.

The Saudi authorities released 6 of the detainees on the same day, while the remaining four were held for varying periods of up to two months. During the period of detention, Dr. Farajallah Youssef underwent several medical operations, including an amputation of his foot due to placing cuffs in it, which led to his diabetic foot, then all of them were re-arrested in July 2020, and were subjected to disappearance for 5 months, and one of the detainees made the first contact with his family In December 2020.

The detainees were tortured according to the defense memorandum submitted in January at the beginning of this year, but the prosecution objected and the court forced him to amend his defense memorandum because it included "torture." Most of them were not allowed to visit and phone calls and they were not allowed to be alone with their lawyers or to speak with their families without security oversight, which confirms the lack of fairness or integrity of the trial.

The signatories to this statement condemn the unfair trial procedures and the unfair verdicts that resulted because of a cultural symposium, which celebrates a national occasion, rather than an Arab event in which Saudi Arabia participated in a time of war. It also calls on the Egyptian government to fulfill its responsibilities set out in the constitution in Article 88, as it is committed to "take care of the interests of Egyptians residing abroad, protect them and guarantee their rights and freedoms..." and intervene immediately to release them.


  • Refugees Platform in Egypt (RPE)
  • The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)
  • Egyptian Front for Human Rights
  • El Nadim center
  • Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
  • The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF)