Together for Justice has expressed its deep concern about the deteriorating health conditions of the Saudi detainee, Dr. Saud Mukhtar Al-Hashemi, following the spread of reports that he was subjected to torture and ill-treatment by his prison administration in Saudi Arabia, in addition to medical neglect and deprivation of the necessary health care.
According to private sources, the prison administration of Dhahban Prison in Jeddah has transferred Dr. Saud Al-Hashemi to a very cold solitary cell, without providing him with any blankets or winter clothes to further abuse him. According to the sources, the transfer took place after he was beaten, tortured and insulted severely.
Dr. Saud Al-Hashemi, a professor of family medicine at the Faculty of Medicine at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, is one of the most prominent political detainees in the prisons of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who was arrested in 2007 in the “rest cell”, with a number of intellectuals, scientists and academics for meeting to discuss how to establish democratic governance in the country.
Dr. Saud Al-Hashemi has a bad medical history in Saudi prisons due to ill-treatment, deplorable conditions of detention, and denial of medication. He had previously suffered strokes in his prison cell in Dhahban prison in September 2016, in addition to contracting a number of diseases that made him look older than his age.
For most of his detention, Dr. Saud was imprisoned in a narrow solitary cell without any facilities, during which he was subjected to starvation, and he was also denied exercise or communication with anyone. All these circumstances caused him a stroke which made him lose his ability to move for some time, yet he did not receive any first aid or medical care to treat this clot.
Dr. Saud Al-Hashemi was arrested on Friday, February 2, 2007, along with 8 of his friends, scholars, lawyers and thinkers from a rest house in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, during a public discussion about some political and reform issues in the country. They were taken to the headquarters of the General Investigation in Jeddah, during which they were subjected to various types of beatings and torture to force them to confess to charges of financing and supporting terrorism.
Dr. Saud Al-Hashemi was subjected to severe torture in the headquarters of the General Investigation, Al-Haiir prison in Riyadh and Dhahban prison in Jeddah, and he was also denied communication with his family for more than two years, after which they were allowed to visit him once a month, and those visits witnessed much severe security harassments.
He added that he suffers from poor conditions of detention as he is held in a solitary cell measuring 1m x 2m, and his hands and feet are cuffed all the time. He is rarely allowed to go to the bathroom, and he is also handcuffed. He also told them that he was forced to sign a waiver of the right to appoint a lawyer to defend him and he was stripped of all his clothes except his underwear, and he was beaten until he agreed to sign the waiver.
He also mentioned that seven of the first group of detainees were transferred after a year to regular cells, while him and the late detainee, Dr. Musa Al-Qarni, and were kept in solitary confinement in prison.
In this regard, Together for Justice calls on the world’s decision-makers to urgently intervene to save the life of the detainee Dr. Saud Al-Hashemi, whose continued detention poses an imminent threat to his life due to ill-treatment and deliberate medical negligence.