Saudi Arabia maintains that it does not use torture on its prisoners – a claim that is eaily refuted by masses of witness testimonies and the fact that pratises such as flogging are regular punishments for even the most minor of crimes.
However, according to a leaked medical report apparently prepared for King Salman, prisoners in Saudi jails have been found to have marks of abuse including burns, bruises and starvation.
The issue of torture in Saudi prisons was apprently of such concern that the report advised pardons for many of those abused.
Some 60 prisoners were thought to have been examined for the report in early 2019. They were thought to include the male detainees Adel Ahmad Banaemah, Mohammed Saud Al Bisher, Fahad Abdullaziz Al-Sunaidi, Zuhair Kutbi, Abdullaziz Fawzan al-Fawzan and Yasser Abdullah al-Ayyaf, and also women including Samar Mohammad Badawi, Hatoon Ajwad al-Fassi and Abeer Adbdullatif Al Namankany.
The report demanded those with serious medical issues should be transferred from solitary confinement to medical wards.
Comments on those studied include:
“The patient suffers from severe weight loss with continuous bloody vomiting. There are also a number of wounds and bruises scattered in several areas of the body”
“There are also a number of visible injuries in the chest and lower back”
“The patient must be transferred from solitary confinement to the specialised clinic for immediate treatment and further medical examinations”
“The patient has difficulty walking because of a number of bruises visible on the legs area. A number of injuries are also visible on the forearm and lower back area. Malnutrition and obvious dryness on the skin”
“The patient suffers from a number of bruises visible on the body, especially in the areas of back, abdomen and thighs. It also appears to be malnourished due to lack of eating and facial pallor and general weakness in the body”
“The patient cannot move at all due to wounds in both legs as well as severe weakness in the body due to malnutrition and lack of fluids”
“The patient suffers from severe burns throughout the body. Old wounds were not completely healed because of medical negligence”
“The patient suffers from difficulty in movement due to severe malnutrition and general lack of fluids. There are also a number of bruises, wounds and sores throughout the body”
According to the Guardian newspaper, human rights organisations advised the newspaper not to attempt contact with the families of detainees, as it would put their lives at risk.
One human rights activist said that the findings matched their own knowledge of detainees’ treatment in Saudi jails. They said female prisoners faced electrocution, being tied to chairs and beaten around their thighs, backs and buttocks with an agal.
Saudi Arabia maintains that it does not torture prisoners, but will not allow human rights monitors into the country.