Journalist Waleed El Doud El Hussein, working for the Sudanese opposition news site Alrakoba, has been held for more than one month Saudi Arabia.
Saudi security officers transferred him to the city of Dammam, the Sudanese Journalists Association for Human Rights (JAHR) said in a press release today.
El Hussein told his relatives who were allowed to visit him that he is treated well and that his immigration status is not in question. However, the JHR statement did not mention why he is being held and if he was formally notified of a pending extradition request by Khartoum.
JAHR claims it received confirmed reports that El Hussein is targeted by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) for publishing and administrating Alrakoba.net.
The Sudanese human rights watchdog fears that he will be subjected to torture and may face death in case he is deported to Sudan, “as the Sudanese security organs demand”.
Alrakoba started in 2005 as a dialogue forum. The following year it became a news website, exposing human rights abuses and cases of corruption and bad governance in Sudan. The website is very popular among the Sudanese in the country and abroad despite repeated attempts by the authorities to block it.
Relations between Al Riyadh and Khartoum significantly improved in March this year when Sudan joined the Saudi led-military coalition against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Correction 2015/09/04 17:20: In a later statement by Alrakoba, El Hussein turned out to be the founder of the newspaper. He has been detained in Saudi Arabia since 23 July.