The latest hearing session in the trial of Saudi activists Mohammed Fahad al-Qahtani and Abdullah al-Hamed did not sound all that different from the previous ones. The activists continue to debate judge Hammad al-Omar the legitimacy of the trial and the charges against them.
“This is a malicious lawsuit,” al-Hamed reportedly told the judge. “It aims to silence me and rights activists like me.”
The public session was held in Riyadh Saturday morning, and it was well-attended by activists and media, as well as representatives of local human rights groups. However, the judge warned the defendants against publishing the proceedings of the trial, according to journalist Iman al-Qahtani who was in the courtroom.
Activists posted photos from outside the court.
The government is accusing al-Qahtani and al-Hamed of founding an unlicensed human rights organization and questioning the legitimacy of the rulers, among other charges. Amnesty International has urged the Saudi government to drop the case because “it appears to be based solely on their legitimate work to defend human rights.”
After two hours and 45 minutes of debate, the judge adjourned the trial. The next hearing session is scheduled for Saturday, December 1, 2012.
Related: Global Voices, as usual, has a good roundup of tweets on the trial.