Saudi Arabia tortured activists together with ladies, rights teams declare

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One of many activists reportedly tried to take her personal life repeatedly contained in the jail, in accordance with the testimonies, Amnesty mentioned.

“In a single reported occasion, one of many activists was made to hold from the ceiling, and in accordance with one other testimony, one of many detained ladies was reportedly subjected to sexual harassment, by interrogators carrying face masks,” the rights group mentioned in a press release Tuesday.

The alleged torture included “administering electrical shocks, whipping the ladies on their thighs, and forcible hugging and kissing,” HRW mentioned. After interrogations “ladies confirmed bodily indicators of torture, together with issue strolling, uncontrolled shaking of the arms, and purple marks and scratches on their faces and necks,” the sources mentioned, in accordance with HRW. No less than one of many ladies tried suicide a number of instances, the rights group mentioned.

The Saudi authorities rejected the allegations of torture in a press release to CNN.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s judiciary system doesn’t condone, promote, or enable using torture. Anybody, whether or not male or feminine, being investigated goes by way of the usual judiciary course of led by the general public prosecution whereas being held for questioning, which doesn’t in any approach depend on torture both bodily, sexual, or psychological,” a Saudi official mentioned.

Saudi Arabia has confronted elevated worldwide scrutiny and stress following the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi within the Saudi consulate in Istanbul final month. The suspects embrace members of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s internal circle. The crown prince has denied any connection to the killing.
US President Donald Trump signaled Tuesday that he would not take strong action against Saudi Arabia or the Crown Prince over Khashoggi’s loss of life and dismemberment.

Amnesty: ‘Stunning stories’

In its assertion, Amnesty mentioned a number of activists had been arbitrarily detained with out cost since Might in Dhahban Jail, in Jeddah.

Saudi authorities arrested a number of women’s rights activists in Might, weeks forward of the dominion’s lifting of the ban on women driving on June 24. Accusations in opposition to the detainees included unlawful contacts with international international locations.

HRW mentioned it was not figuring out those that had allegedly been tortured due to issues of reprisals in opposition to them or in opposition to sources who had revealed their abuse. Amnesty mentioned jail authorities have reportedly warned detained activists in opposition to talking out about mistreatment.

Each rights teams known as for Saudi authorities instantly to launch activists who had been being held solely for his or her peaceable efforts to advocate human rights reforms.

“Just a few weeks after the ruthless killing of Jamal Khashoggi, these surprising stories of torture, sexual harassment and different types of ill-treatment, if verified, expose additional outrageous human rights violations by the Saudi authorities,” mentioned Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty Worldwide’s Center East analysis director.

With the Khashoggi story worsening, the US may finally have an adult in the room

“Saudi authorities are immediately answerable for the well-being of those men and women in detention. Not solely have they disadvantaged them of their liberty for months now, merely for peacefully expressing their views, they’re additionally subjecting them to horrendous bodily struggling.”

Amnesty and HRW additionally urged the nation’s western allies to name on the Saudi authorities to launch ladies’s rights activists and examine allegations of abuse in detention.

“Any brutal torture of Saudi ladies activists would present no restrict to the Saudi authorities’ marketing campaign of wanton cruelty in opposition to critics and human rights activists,” mentioned Michael Web page, HRW’s deputy Center East director.

“Any authorities that tortures ladies for demanding fundamental rights ought to face withering worldwide criticism, not unblinking US and UK help.”

UK Overseas Secretary Jeremy Hunt was final week the primary British minister to go to Riyadh since Khashoggi’s killing. In a press release beforehand, the Overseas Workplace mentioned Hunt would name on the Saudi authorities to do extra to ship justice and accountability for the Khashoggi household.



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