Rabat – Following Osama Al-Hasani’s arrest last month, the Moroccan court has decided to extradite the Australian-Saudi citizen to Saudi Arabia, says his wife.
In February Al-Hasani flew to Morocco to join his wife and baby daughter, but upon his arrival in Tangier, he was arrested by the Moroccan authorities. A Moroccan justice ministry official cited an Interpol notice filed by Saudi Arabia as the basis for his arrest and extradition.
Although local Moroccan media originally cited political-activism as Al-Hasani’s crime, Reuters more recently wrote that he is wanted for a penal code matter involving theft, charges that Al-Hasani denies. Furthermore, they claim that Saudi courts have sentenced him to two years in prison.
Despite his status as a dual Australian-Saudi citizen, it must be noted that Saudi Arabia does not legally allow its citizens to hold dual-citizenships.
After Al-Hasani’s trial on March 3, “he’d be most probably deported to Saudi Arabia, where the real danger lies,” Prisoners of Conscience previously stated.
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Speaking to the Australian broadcaster SBS, Al-Hasani’s Moroccan wife Hanae said she was “afraid his fate will be like that of Jamal Khashoggi,” the Saudi dissident and US resident killed and dismembered in the country’s consulate in Istanbul.
“The fact he will be extradited to Saudi Arabia means simply that he is going to be tortured, and maybe worse than that, things I don’t want to think about right now,” she said.
Al-Hasani’s London-based lawyer, Haydee Dijkstal, said the Moroccan court’s decision was disappointing.
“Mr Al-Hasani’s extradition was approved by the Moroccan court despite urgent concerns raised of the real and credible risk to [his] fundamental rights, safety and security if he is extradited to Saudi Arabia,” the lawyer said in a statement.
It is unclear when Al-Hasani will be extradited to Saudi Arabia.