Middle East

Hamas says it spoke to 4 countries, UN in bid to free its prisoners in S.Arabia, Libya

Ismail Haniyeh says he sought help from Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, UAE to free Hamas members held by Riyadh

Nour Abu Eisha   | 24.10.2021
Hamas says it spoke to 4 countries, UN in bid to free its prisoners in S.Arabia, Libya

GAZA CITY, Palestine 

Palestinian group Hamas said Sunday that it had reached out to the UN as well as officials in Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on securing the release of its members being held in Saudi Arabia.

In a statement, Hamas said its leader Ismail Haniyeh had communicated through friends with the four countries about the issue.

The Palestinian group said Haniyeh provided UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres with a list of Hamas detainees in Saudi Arabia.

According to the statement, Haniyeh received pledges “from these countries to settle the issue” of detainees.

There was no comment from authorities in the four countries or the UN on Hamas’ statement.

In August, a Saudi criminal court sentenced Mohammed Al-Khudari, former Hamas representative in the kingdom, to 15 years in prison on charges of supporting the Palestinian group, in addition to various jail sentences for 69 Palestinian and Jordanian nationals.

Meanwhile, Haniyeh said his group seeks to free its representative Marwan al-Ashqar held in Libya.

On Oct. 21, 2019, al-Ashqar, his son, and two other Palestinians were charged by a Libyan court with forming a secret foreign organization and possession and smuggling of weapons and were sentenced with terms ranging from 17 to 27 years.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara

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