New investigation reveals shocking extent of torture in Saudi women's prisons | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

New investigation reveals shocking extent of torture in Saudi women's prisons

A documentary by Al Jazeera revealed shocking testimonies from female former detainees about the extent of torture and sexual harassment in Jeddah's Dhahban Central Prison.Tags:Dhahban, torture, women's rights, prison.
A new documentary broadcast on Al Jazeera's Arabic channel has uncovered terrifying details about the torture of female prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

The film presents a selection of testimonies from former detainees of Jeddah's Dhahban Central Prison, revealing rampant physical and psychological torture as well as sexual harassment during interrogation sessions.

Dhahban Prison is where a number of prominent Saudi women's rights activists have been arbitrarily detained since a sweeping campaign of arrests in May 2018.

The activists have previously complained about sexual harassment, torture and other forms of mistreatment during interrogation, however, the documentary is the first of its kind in airing direct testimonies.

One of the interviewees is South African former university teacher Yomna Desai, who was released from Dhabhan a year ago.

Desai recounts being taken off the street by a security forces after leaving work at Hail University, and flown to Dhahban Prison in Jeddah.

Desai said that inmates are taken to be tortured at a palace or villa located near the prison that may belong to a member of the ruling family.

Comment: How an imprisoned Saudi princess came to represent Mohammed bin Salman's greatest fears

Alia Al-Hathloul, the sister of prominent rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul, who has been arbitrarily detained since 2018, says on the programme that her sister has been tortured not in an attempt to extract a confession, but purely for her abusers' pleasure.

UK-based Saudi activist Sahar Al-Faifi says on the documentary that detainees have been stripped naked and photographed, the photo then being placed on the investigation table as humiliation.

Beatings with electric cables are also used against the women.

During interrogation, inmates have been harassed and threatened with rape, while in chains, to force them to answer questions, Al-Faifi added.

The documentary also highlights the 2016 death of Dhahban inmate Hanan al-Thubiani, which Desai said was due to torture.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would strongly and politely suggest to President Trump, that he may well want to pick his international "friends" just a little more carefully than he has with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

This torture of women is apparently what the guy has signed off upon, and if it has happened under MBS's watch, he must have approved it, and continues to approve it.

This is one of the myriad of reasons you would never get me, willingly, to go to Riyadh; being a Christian, and a woman, is enough to get one tortured and killed, under this barbaric regime's watch.

In fact, as noted in the following article last month, people in the international community are beginning to sit up and take notice. This article was published at justsecurity.org, last month: Ending Impunity: Now Is the Time for a UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Saudi Arabia

The article goes on to state: "One cannot deny that Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, not stellar to begin with, has been worsening, especially after Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was made Crown Prince in 2017. Since then, the regime has systematically silenced any dissent and has racked up a worrying toll of human rights violations, against both Saudi and foreign citizens. Saudi authorities act with total impunity with the international community looking on. This can no longer be tolerated, nor go unpunished: an essential first step is establishing a United Nations independent expert to monitor the human rights situation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), in the form of a special rapporteur.

Saudi policy continues to incorporate torture, murder, and restrictions on fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right to life, freedom of expression and opinion, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of belief and movement, women’s rights, minority rights, and migrant workers’ rights, coupled with alleged war crimes in Yemen. Saudi authorities persistently persecute peaceful activists by labelling them as terrorists or agitators and using anti-terror and security laws against them, following a pattern of rife violations. Suspects are often beaten to extract confessions; they are denied access to legal support and family visits; they are exposed to corporal punishment; and remain in excessively protracted pre-trial detention, with any pleas for fair investigation of these violations falling on the deaf ears of judicial authorities."

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