Crackdown on Christians Intensifies 
in Osama bin Laden's Home Country of Saudi Arabia

For immediate release
October 3, 2001

A FURTHER six Christian men have been arrested in the coastal city of
Jiddah, Saudi Arabia as the crackdown on believers in the city escalates.

Four Ethiopians, an Eritrean and a Filipino were detained by the Saudi
Arabian authorities between August 21 and September 4.

This brings the total number of arrests of Christians in Jiddah this summer
to 15 according to reports from human rights agency Middle East Concern.

CSW believes one reason for the continued arrests of ex-pat believers in the
city is an attempt to track down Saudis who have Christian sympathies.

Of the fifteen, two have been released - Tishome, one of the Ethiopians, and
Wilfredo Caliuag, who was deported to the Philippines on August 9, having
spent two days in a coma in a Jiddah Hospital as a direct result of the
appalling conditions in which he was held.

The remaining 13 have been denied consular access, although some of the men
have been permitted to see their families.

Prabhu Isaac, arrested on July 19 , has now been held for over 10 weeks and
sources report that the Indian consulate has never been officially notified
of his arrest.

According to reliable reports, CSW believes that all those detained are
being held solely in connection with their Christian faith.

Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of CSW, said: "Recent international events
have led to a global call for the eradication of radical Islamic terrorism.
At the same time, intolerance against peace-loving Christians quietly
continues in Islamic regimes and must also be stamped out."

CSW appeals for tolerance in calling for the immediate release of these men,
whom we believe to be prisoners of conscience.

According to Saudi law, its citizens must be Muslim, but officials have said
that ex-patriate non-Muslims are free to worship in private.

CSW urges the rulers of Saudi Arabia to protect the freedom of non-Sunni
Muslims to worship in private.

For further information please contact Richard Chilvers on 020 8949 0587 or
020 8942 8810 or email

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