Saudi Arabia Tortures Human Rights Activists Including Women | Politics

Saudi women arrive to attend Janadriyah Culture Festival on the outskirts of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 8, 2016. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser – RTX261OR


Since May, numerous activists have been put in jail in Saudi Arabia which includes several women and human rights groups. They have been tortured, sexually harassed and mistreated.


The victims have reported being given electric shocks and flogged, hung from the ceiling and sexually harassed and leaving some “unable to walk or stand properly, with marks on their bodies and uncontrolled shaking of the hands”, Amnesty International has said.


Human Rights Watch has reported that the tortures included “administering electric shocks, whipping the women on their thighs, and forcible hugging and kissing. (…) Women showed physical signs of torture, including difficulty walking, uncontrolled shaking of the hands, and red marks and scratches on their faces and necks”.


“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s judiciary system does not condone, promote, or allow the use of torture. Anyone, whether male or female, being investigated is going through the standard judiciary process led by the public prosecution while being held for questioning, which does not in any way rely on torture either physical, sexual, or psychological,” a Saudi official has stated.


Just last year, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman were praised for lifting the ban on women driving.


But Saudi Arabia has faced increased international pressure after the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who had criticised the kingdom. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s inner circle are suspects of the crime.


Amnesty’s Middle East research director Lynn Maalouf has said: “Only a few weeks after the ruthless killing of Jamal Khashoggi, these shocking reports of torture, sexual harassment and other forms of ill-treatment, if verified, expose further outrageous human rights violations by the Saudi authorities”.



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