Sheikh Ahmed al-Amari, the Imam of Masije-e-nabvi and the former dean of the Quran College in the Islamic University of Madinah, died on Sunday. Its is still unclear as to where his death took place as some claim he passed away in detention.
Yahya Assiri, director of the London-based ALQST rights group, said al-Amari was arrested from his home in August last year amid a crackdown that also included the arrest of one of his close associates, Muslim scholar Safar al-Hawali.
The group accused Saudi prison authorities of “intentionally neglecting” the 69-year-old and “causing his death”.
Some news reports also claimed that the cleric was declared brain-dead after Saudi officials injected a poisonous substance into his body while torturing him in prison.
On the other hand, the Middle East Monitor says that the Saudi cleric died one week after being released from prison. They say that the Saudi authorities arrested Al-Amari with one of his sons from their home during a campaign led by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman against clerics, writers and human rights activists.
The kingdom has faced increased scrutiny since the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.
Saudi Arabia is yet to announce official statement on the issue.