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UK Report: Bin Salman’s prisons- Ongoing violations and hunger strikes

Mohamed Bin Salman – Saudi Arabia

Human rights activists shared news about violations and hunger strikes in Saudi prisons, including the most recent news of Mohamed Fahd Al-Qahtani who went on a hunger strike protesting the psychological and physical torture he is subject and medical negligence which could lead to his death, according to “prisoners of conscience in the Saudi Arabia” twitter account.

Bin salman and fahd al qahtani

Al-Qahtani was the cellmate of the late detainee Abdullah Al-Hamid in Bin Salman’s prisons for years. The account warned that Al-Qahtani might face the same fate of his companion who died in prison.

“Prisoners of conscience” also published another tweet about violations against detainee Loujain Al-Hathloul by bin Salman’s man in the royal court, Saud Al-Qahtani, all of which were ordered by the Crown Price.

The ongoing violations against detainees in Saudi Arabia were internationally condemned, as the British lawyer Helena Kennedy published a report a month ago, in which the disastrous detention conditions inside Saudi prisons, and the violations detainees are subject to with direct orders with Bin Salman were described. Kennedy called for restricting cooperation with Saudi Arabia and imposing legal guardianship on the properties of bin Salman.

The report included testimonies of the families of detainees in Saudi prisons about the violations committed against their relatives and former detainees. According to the report, Saudi women activists who were detained in prisons were punched in the face or chest, and kicked hard. The perpetrators were brining close cellmates and severely beating one of them in front of the other, according to a testimony of a close friend of the detainee #Aida_Al-Ghamdi.

The report stated that prison authorities used to bring blindfold detained men in Al-Dhahban Prison and beat them severely in front of detained women. Questions were being directed at these detained young men while beating them nonstop, until interrogators like the answer, otherwise their torture would continue for hours.
Furthermore, sometimes first degree relatives of these men were summoned and beaten in front of the detainee to confess to crimes he did not commit.

The report revealed that the female detainees were forced to stand for long hours in one place. One of the female detainees was hanged by the hands from the ceiling of the cell, while other detainees were sexually harassed.

In the testimonies of some former female detainees in Dhahban Prison: “The female detainees were taken to torture elsewhere, and following their return we could see signs of psychological and mental traumas and bruises on their bodies. They lost appetite and could not see properly. They showered too much”.

A former detainee who was forced to attend a torture session for a close friend of hers said: “Khaled bin Salman” came more than once to the place of torture outside Dhahban Prison and was threatening the detainees with rape and murder shouting “I am the Saudi ambassador to the UK, I can do whatever I want with you”.

The report also cited the testimony of a former detainee who confirmed that Saud Al-Qahtani’s was present during torture sessions for Loujain Al-Hathloul, other detainees, such as “Iman Al-Nafjan,”. He also threatening them detainees rape and murder.”.

Helena Kennedy stated in her report that “I find that Bin Salman’s unawareness of the torture of detained activists unreasonable, since the Crown Prince oversees details of everythig, and his brother Khalid and his advisor Saud Al-Qahtani witnessed the torture sessions and it is illogical that they did not inform him. Especially since the torture sessions require preparations that cannot be carried out without the direct orders of the Crown Prince.”.

Together for Justice calls on all human rights organizations to stand together and lift this injustice suffered by the detained women and men in Saudi prisons, to allow them to communicate with their lawyers and ensure that the minimum fair trial standards are met in their trials.

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