Boy Pleads for Help for Father Detained in Saudi Arabia

Four More Arrested: Total of 14 Detained for Practicing Their Faith
September 11, 2001

SAUDI ARABIA: (ICC) The Government of Saudi Arabia is continuing
their sweep of Christians by raiding the private homes, confiscating
personal articles, and imprisoning men for undetermined reasons.
International Christian Concern, the Washington DC based human rights
organization, was notified by the United Churches of Saudi Arabia
(UCOSA) that four more men have been taken - two of which reside with
their families in Jeddah.

"It has become clearly evident," says Richard Braidich of UCOSA,
"that the Saudis are deliberately carrying out a campaign of arrests
of the Christian leadership, which is being literally swept away."
Left behind are at least 7 families who no longer have any means of
financial support - as their husbands and fathers are imprisoned.
There are at least two newborn children in these families who are in
desperate need of the support of their father, as the women are not
allowed to drive a car in Saudi Arabia in order to purchase their
daily necessities of life.  Others in the community desire to help,
but they are afraid that their houses are being watched and phones

At least three Christians whose names are on the "most wanted" list
of the Ministry of Interior (MOI) are now hiding, moving from house to
house in order to allude the MOI.  One man who is on the run, Ahmed,
telephoned UCOSA yesterday stating, "I have no idea what to do, and
am very much afraid.  I am running for my life, and I don't know why
they are after me.  But I know that they [the MOI] have already
imprisoned many of my brothers."

A recent email from the son of one of the detained Christians reads:
"I am a 12 years old boy, together with my 9 years old sister and a 2
month old baby sister, is appealing and begging for your help and
support for my father, Dennis Moreno-Lacalle, who had been
interrogated last August 29 at 11:15 a.m. by the 3 Government
Policemen (Ministry of Interior of Saudi Arabia).  He was asked to
lead them in going to our house wherein my mama and my 2 month old
baby sister was in the bedroom.  Our house was ransacked and one
Bible and some musical instruments was confiscated.  Please, I'm
begging for your help!! We went already to the prison, but these
people in the prison keep on passing him on and hiding him.  Please,
have mercy for us here, because until the time of my papa was taken,
me haven't siin and talked to him, even visited him. Please, please
help." Jedidiah John, Saudi Arabia

With a request for help from UCOSA to International Christian
Concern, Braidich says, "The wives of the detained are pleading for
help for their husbands. Their only hope is with the US government.
Only the US as power and any clout with the Saudi government.  The
Saudis have notoriously turned a blind eye to any other government's
requests in such cases.

International Christian Concern and UCOSA are extremely concerned for
these men's safety.  Recently deported Wilfredo Caliwag [Filipino]
testified about having been tortured almost to the point of death.

International Christian Concern is cooperating with UCOSA in pleading
with the US Government on behalf of those who are missing their
family members, asking for help in gaining their immediate release
from prison, reinstatement with their employers, and for talks to
begin between UCOSA the Saudi government to discuss ways that
Christians can practice their faith with Saudi Arabia without fear of
harassment, arrest, deportation, and maltreatment.


Steven Snyder

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