August 01, 2019

Risch Statement on Release of Dual U.S. Citizen from Saudi Prison

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made the following statement following news that Saudi Arabia has released dual U.S. citizen Dr. Walid Fitaihi from prison as he awaits trial: 

“I welcome reports that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has released dual U.S. citizen Dr. Walid Fitaihi from prison after 21 months in detention. I met with Dr. Fitaihi’s family earlier this year, as his case is among the many that has challenged the U.S.-Saudi Arabia relationship in recent years. I have raised his detention in my talks with Saudi authorities, and while this is a good development, Dr. Fitaihi is still awaiting trial and more remains to be done. I will continue to pressure the Saudis to make changes to their conduct in effort to push our relationship in a more positive direction. As I have said before, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should immediately and unconditionally release all human rights activists standing trial, and hold anyone complicit in prisoner torture to account.”

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