Placing detainees in solitary confinement is the method used by the Saudi authorities used against many, especially those who were arrested in the September campaign in 2017, after Prince Muhammad bin Salman took over the mandate of the Covenant.
The Twitter account of Prisoners of Conscience revealed that Saudi detainees in the Saudi prisons, especially those in the notorious Dhahban prison, had been transferred to solitary confinement cells over and over, which prompted the courts to cancel the court sessions and start new cases as if the detainee had just been arrested.
Prisoners of Conscience reported that “It is certain to us that most of the September detainees in Dhahban prison have been transferred to solitary confinement again, and they have been referred to investigation which will begin from the very beginning over the next few days.”
Human rights activists also confirmed that all family visits to detainees, especially those in Dhahban prison in Jeddah, had been cancelled, and no phone calls allowed either, which happens every time the authority decides to hold the detainees in solitary confinement cells or place them in secret prisons that only the state security apparatus, created by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, know their whereabouts.
Specifications of the isolation cells
Human rights organisations revealed the specifications of the solitary cells based on testimonies given by old political prisoners in the kingdom’s prisons that the cells are concrete 2.5 x 2.5 meters, including the toilet, place for eating and a place for sleep on a sloppy sponge, with no windows or ventilation.
Western countries and human rights organisations strongly condemned the human rights record in Saudi Arabia, due to arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance, as well as the recent news of the solitary confinement of detainees, which negatively affects their mental and physical health.
In a joint statement, a group of 24 countries, mostly European countries, expressed their deep concern about the systematic violations of human rights taking place in Saudi Arabia.
Together for Justice organisation condemned the solitary confinement of detainees inside prisons, and called it a deliberate way of sickening detainees psychologically by keeping them in solitary confinement cells for long months without dealing with any human beings without any reason, especially since all detainees have no history of violence or immoral crimes.
On the contrary, they are all symbols of the civil society who work for the benefit of the society through legitimate societal means.
The organisation also demanded the authorities to respect human rights and treat detainees with dignity and humanity and to release them all immediately.