Torture in  [Saudi Arabia]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Saudi Arabia]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Saudi Arabia]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Saudi Arabia]  [other countries]
 

Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                        gvnet.com/torture/SaudiArabia.htm

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has an oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities.

About 40% of GDP comes from the private sector. Roughly 6.4 million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, particularly in the oil and service sectors.

The government is encouraging private sector growth - especially in power generation, telecommunications, natural gas exploration, and petrochemicals - to lessen the kingdom's dependence on oil exports and to increase employment opportunities for the swelling Saudi population, nearly 40% of which are youths under 15 years old. Unemployment is high, and the large youth population generally lacks the education and technical skills the private sector needs. Riyadh has substantially boosted spending on job training and education, infrastructure development, and government salaries.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Description: SaudiArabia

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Saudi Arabia.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** ARCHIVES ***

IHEU: “call it what it is — Saudi Arabia’s flogging of Raif Badawi is barbarity and torture, plain and simple”

International Humanist and Ethical Union, 9 Jan 2015

iheu.org/iheu-call-it-what-it-is-saudi-arabias-flogging-of-raif-badawi-is-barbarity-and-torture-plain-and-simple/

[accessed 24 March 2015]

It is reported that officials have carried out the first 50 lashes of a 1000-lashes sentence against Saudi liberal, Raif Badawi. The charges related to his running of a Liberal Saudi website, focused on advocating greater religious freedom, which was deemed “insulting to Islam” and a threat to the state.

The order papers indicated that the lashings should be “severe”. Witnesses said that despite the severity of the beating today, Raif Badawi “did not flinch; he held the victory symbol and [a] guard had to hold his hand down“.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2015 - Events of 2014

Human Rights Watch, 29 January 2015

www.hrw.org/world-report/2015/... or download PDF at  www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/wr2015_web.pdf

[accessed 18 March 2015]

SAUDI ARABIA

CRIMINAL JUSTICE - Detainees, including children, commonly face systematic violations of due process and fair trial rights, including arbitrary arrest and torture and ill-treatment in detention. Saudi judges routinely sentence defendants to floggings of hundreds of lashes.

In the absence of a written penal code or narrowly-worded regulations, however, judges and prosecutors can criminalize a wide range of offenses under broad, catch-all charges such as “breaking allegiance with the ruler” or “trying to distort the reputation of the kingdom.”

Authorities do not always inform suspects of the crime with which they are charged, or allow them access to supporting evidence, even after trial sessions have begun in some cases. Authorities generally do not allow lawyers to assist suspects during interrogation and often impede them from examining witnesses and presenting evidence at trial. Authorities continued to arrest and hold suspects for months and sometimes years without judicial review or prosecution. On May 15, an Interior Ministry database showed that criminal justice officials were holding 293 individuals whose pretrial detention exceeded six months without having referred their cases to the judiciary. At least 31 people had been detained “under investigation” for more than six months.

Torture case trio await ruling

Belfast Telegraph, 12 January 2014

www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/uk/torture-case-trio-await-ruling-29908613.html

[accessed 12 Jan 2014]

Ronald Jones, Alexander Mitchell, William Sampson and Leslie Walker claim they were subjected to beatings, sleep deprivation and anal rape as well as being given mind-altering drugs following their arrest in 2000 in Saudi Arabia's capital city, Riyadh.

'Torture' punishment: Saudi sentence man to be paralyzed

Russia Today - RT News Network, 4 April 2013

rt.com/news/arabia-paralysis-punishment-condemnation-315/

[accessed 5 April 2013]

A Saudi Arabian court has allegedly ordered a man to be paralyzed for stabbing his friend 10 years ago. The defendant’s family will have to pay out $266,000 or have their son face a sentence decried as “torture” by Amnesty International.

Twenty-four-year-old Ali al-Khawaher stabbed his friend in the back when he was 14, putting the victim in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Islamic Sharia law, which is enforced in Saudi Arabia, allows for ‘eye-for-an-eye’ punishment in such cases, or monetary compensation for the victim.

Torture in Saudi prisons shows Al Saud’s savagery: Iran MP

Press TV, 25 Jan  2013

www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/01/25/285524/torture-in-saudi-prisons-shows-savagery/

[accessed 26 January 2013]

www.taghribnews.com/vdcgzq9q3ak9xu4.5jra.html

[accessed 30 August 2016]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – “Al Saud security forces send thousands of Yemenis, who are only guilty of illegal entry into Saudi Arabia for finding a job, to ghastly prisons without mentioning any reason for the arrest,” Hadi Shoushtari said on Friday.

Reports say a large number of Yemenis are detained in Saudi Arabia prisons. In October 2012, an 18-year-old Yemeni youth died of severe torture by jail officers in a prison of the Saudi intelligence agency.

Al Saud even treats with “utter brutality” the criminals who have rights in the civilized world today and this is a sign of extreme savagery, the Iranian lawmaker said.

The state of the world's human rights

Amnesty International AI, Annual Report 2013

www.amnesty.org/en/region/saudi-arabia/report-2013

[accessed 6 Feb 2014]

TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT

Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees and sentenced prisoners were reported to be common, widespread and generally committed with impunity. Reported methods included beating, suspension by the limbs and sleep deprivation. Those tortured reportedly included detained protesters, who were held incommunicado for days or weeks without charge or trial.

Detainees held at al-Hair prison reportedly told their families in August that they were assaulted by prison guards and feared for their lives.

CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING PUNISHMENTS

The courts continued to impose sentences of flogging as a principal or additional punishment for many offences. At least five defendants were sentenced to flogging of 1,000 to 2,500 lashes. Flogging was carried out in prisons.

DEATH PENALTY

The courts continued to impose death sentences for a range of drugs and other offences. Several hundred prisoners were believed to be on death row; some for many years. At least 79 prisoners were executed, mostly in public. They included at least 52 Saudi Arabians and at least 27 foreign nationals, including at least one woman. Some prisoners were executed for non-violent offences.

Saudi Arabia: Save Convicts from Amputation

Human Rights Watch, Beirut, December 16, 2011

www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/16/saudi-arabia-save-convicts-amputation

[accessed 26 January 2013]

After Unfair Trials, Court Sentences Six to Lose Hands, Feet

The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia should void a sentence to amputate the hands and feet of six stateless people convicted of armed robbery, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the Saudi Human Rights Commission. The sentence constitutes internationally prohibited torture.

Judge Abd al-‘Aziz Al al-Shaikh of Riyadh’s General Court tried ‘Iyada and his co-defendants in only two court sessions, each lasting less than one hour, and prohibited them from appointing lawyers to assist them in their defense, ‘Iyada told Human Rights Watch. ‘Iyada’s family-appointed lawyer prepared his written appeal, but was not allowed to meet with his client, attend court sessions, or see documents except for the public verdict.

‘Iyada told Human Rights Watch that four officials of Riyadh’s criminal investigation department tortured him over the course of 10 days after his arrest in mid-October 2010, to force him to confess.

“They beat me with their hands, electrical cables, and sticks all over my body, for hours on end, every day,” ‘Iyada said.

A judge authenticated ‘Iyada’s confession even though ‘Iyada stood before him with marks of torture visible on his face, ‘Iyada said. Judge Al al-Shaikh convicted the defendants despite noting in the verdict that they had withdrawn their confessions on the grounds that they had been coerced. No investigation into allegations of torture has taken place, to Human Rights Watch’s knowledge.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61698.htm

[accessed 26 January 2013]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The Basic Law prohibits torture and Shari'a prohibits judges from accepting confessions obtained under duress; however, authorities abused both citizens and foreigners. Ministry of Interior (MOI) officials were responsible for most incidents of abuse of prisoners, including beatings, whippings, and sleep deprivation. In addition, there were allegations of beatings with sticks and suspension from bars by handcuffs. There were allegations that these practices were used to force confessions from prisoners.

During the year the religious police (Mutawwa'in) harassed, abused, and detained citizens and foreigners of both sexes. These incidents were most common in the central region, including the capital, Riyadh, and less frequent in the eastern and western regions of the country.

The government sentenced criminals to punishment according to its interpretation of Shari'a. Corporal punishments provided by law included public execution by beheading, amputation, lashing, and other measures deemed appropriate by the judicial authorities, including potentially as eye-gouging.

By year's end, the press reported approximately 86 executions. Executions were for killings, narcotics-related offenses, rape, and armed robbery. The authorities punished repeated thievery and other repeated offenses by amputation of the right hand and left foot. The government also punished convicted persons by lashing, According to press reports, lashes were generally administered with a thin reed by a man who must hold a book under his arm to prevent him from lifting the arm too high. The strokes, delivered through a thin shirt, are not supposed to leave permanent damage, but to leave painful welts that bleed and bruise. Persons convicted of less serious offenses, such as alcohol-related offenses or being alone in the company of an unrelated person of the opposite sex sometimes were punished by lashing.

According to January 6 press reports, two young citizens, Barjis bin Faleh and Abdulrahman bin Haif, were sentenced to prison terms (12 years and 1,200 lashes and 2 years and 200 lashes) for orchestrating, filming with a camera phone and distributing a video on the Internet of a foreign driver sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl. The driver was sentenced to 2 years and 600 lashes. The press reported on January 24 that a 12-year-old Bangladeshi boy was arrested for pickpocketing pilgrims and lashed 80 times after conviction by an ad hoc court in Mina.

After arrest at a private party in Jeddah on March 10, more than one hundred men were convicted and sentenced after closed trials for "dancing and behaving like women." More than 70 men were sentenced to one year's imprisonment. Thirty one men received sentences ranging from six months to one year and 200 lashes for each. Four men were sentenced to two year's imprisonment and two thousand lashes each, according to the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW).

On November 14, a court in Qassim Province ordered 750 lashes, as well as a prison sentence of 40 months and a ban from teaching for Muhammad al-Harbi, a high school chemistry teacher, reportedly after accusations of "trying to sow doubt in a student's creed" by speaking positively about his views on Christianity, Judaism, and analyzing the causes of terrorism (see sections 1.e. and 2.a.). There was domestic as well as international media attention to the case and the sentences were not carried out because the king pardoned al-Harbi in December.

At year's end the case Puthan Veettil 'Abdul Latif Noushad, an Indian citizen was still under review under review in the appeals court in Riyadh. In 2003 the greater Shari'a Court of Dammam sentenced him to have his right eye gouged out in punishment for his role in a fight which injured a Saudi citizen. Noushad was sentenced to prison for three years

Following a December 16, 2004 political demonstration, 15 demonstrators were sentenced to between 100 and 250 lashes.

The government reserved its position on Article 20 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and does not recognize the jurisdiction of the Committee against Torture to investigate allegations of systematic torture.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  -- Doc. CAT/C/CR/28/5 (2002)

www1.umn.edu/humanrts/cat/observations/saudiarabia2002.html

[accessed 5 March 2013]

C. Subjects of concern

4. The Committee is concerned as to the following aspects:

a) While noting the State party's indication that the Shari'a law expressly prohibits torture, and other cruel and inhuman treatment, the State party's domestic law itself does not explicitly reflect this prohibition, nor does it impose criminal sanctions. The Committee considers that express incorporation in the State party's domestic law of the crime of torture, as defined in article 1 of the Convention, is necessary to signal the cardinal importance of this prohibition.

b) The sentencing to, and imposition of, corporal punishments by judicial and administrative authorities, including, in particular, flogging and amputation of limbs, that are not in conformity with the Convention.

c) The different regimes applicable, in law and in practice, to nationals and foreigners in relation to their legal rights to be free from, and their ability to complain of, conduct in violation of the Convention. The Committee recalls that the Convention and its protections are applicable to all acts in violation of the Convention which occur within its jurisdiction, from which it follows that all persons are entitled, in equal measure and without discrimination, to the rights contained therein.

d) Allegations of prolonged pre-trial detention of some individuals beyond the statutory limits prescribed by law, which heightens the risk of, and may on occasion of itself constitute, conduct in violation of the Convention. In this connection, the Committee expresses its concern at instances of denial, at times for extended periods, of consular access to detained foreigners. Moreover, the Committee is concerned at the low degree of judicial supervision of pre-trial detention.

e) Reports of detention incommunicado of detained persons, at times for extended periods, particularly during pre-trial investigations. The lack of access to external legal advice and medical assistance, as well as to family members, increases the likelihood that conduct violating the Convention will not be appropriately pursued and punished.

f) The requirement of article 100 of the statute of the Directorate of Public Security for an investigating officer to endeavour "by judicious means" to ascertain the reasons for an individual's silence. While the article in question formally proscribes resort to torture or coercion, such a requirement unjustifiably heightens the risk of conduct in violation of the Convention.

g) Cases of deportation of foreigners that have been drawn to the Committee's attention that seem to have been in breach of the obligations imposed by article 3 of the Convention.

h) The jurisdiction of the Mutawe'en officials to pursue, inter alia, violations of the moral code and to proscribe conduct they identify as not conducive to public morality and safety. The Committee is concerned that the powers of these officials are vaguely defined by law, and that their activities may violate the Convention.

i) The apparent failure of the State party to provide effective mechanisms to investigate complaints of breaches of the Convention.

j) While noting the State party's institution of mechanisms for the purpose of providing compensation for conduct in violation of the Convention, as a practical matter, compensation appears to be rarely obtained, and accordingly full enjoyment of the rights guaranteed by the Convention is limited.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 7   Civil Liberties: 6   Status: Not Free

2009 Edition

www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2009/saudi-arabia

[accessed 26 January 2013]

In 2001, the Council of Ministers approved a penal code that bans torture. However, allegations of torture by police and prison officials are common, and access to prisoners by independent human rights and legal organizations is strictly limited. In October 2008, the Ministry of the Interior announced that it would begin trials for hundreds of suspects arrested on charges of terrorism since 2003. Although the ministry originally planned to make the proceedings public, the authorities decided to keep the trials closed.

The Committee to Prevent Vice and Promote Virtue, a semiautonomous religious police force commonly known as the mutawa’een, enforces a strict policy of segregation between men and women and often harasses women, using physical punishment to ensure that women meet conservative standards of dress in public. In 2007, a court sentenced a Shiite woman from Qatif, who had been gang raped by seven men, to 200 lashes and six months in jail for being alone with a man who was not her relative at the time of the attack; the man was also raped by the attackers and punished by the court. The rapists were sentenced to flogging and jail terms ranging from two to nine years. After an international outcry, the king pardoned the two victims in December of that year.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Saudi Arabia", http://gvnet.com/torture/SaudiArabia.htm, [accessed <date>]

 

 

Torture in  [Saudi Arabia]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Saudi Arabia]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Saudi Arabia]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Saudi Arabia]  [other countries]