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Saudi Arabia: Leaked Reports Reveal Abuse of Political Prisoners

According to the leaked medical reports, Political prisoners in Saudi Arabia are said to be suffering from malnutrition, cuts, bruises and burns. Despite the government’s denials to the accuse that men and women in custody are being tortured in the prison, The reports seem to provide the first documented evidence from within the heart of the royal court that political prisoners are facing severe physical abuse. The media has been told the medical reports will be given to King Salman along with recommendations that are said to include a possible pardon for all the prisoners, or at least early release for those with severe health problems. Sources said these options are part of a substantial internal review said to have been ordered by the king, who approved the commissioning of examinations of up to 60 prisoners.

The question of detention and ill-treatment of political has been growing in recent months Pressure on Saudi Arabia along with claims that some female activists have been subjected to electric shocks and lashing in custody. With the kingdom also reeling from the aftermath of the murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, King Salman is said to have ordered a review of the decision to arrest and detain about 200 men and women in a crackdown ordered by his heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. According to a source with knowledge of the review, the royal court set aside objections from Prince Mohammed’s aides and sought brief medical examinations on a number of detainees to get a snapshot of their health.

Human Rights Watch called for Saudi Arabia to “immediately release all jailed human rights activists and peaceful dissidents, and invite international monitors to conduct a comprehensive and transparent investigation into their treatment”. A spokesman for the Saudi embassy in Washington said the kingdom had signed the convention against torture and prohibits its use.

>Alma Siddiqua



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