Friday 20 September 2019

Saudi women's rights activists 'tortured in jail'

Saudi authorities responded to the report by saying Riyadh “does not condone, promote, or allow the use of torture” (stock picture)
Saudi authorities responded to the report by saying Riyadh “does not condone, promote, or allow the use of torture” (stock picture)

Josie Ensor

Saudi Arabia has tortured and sexually harassed women's rights activists detained in prison, a new report alleges.

The activists, who have not been named for fear of reprisal, were arrested in May in a crackdown ahead of the lifting of the decades-long women's driving ban.

Prisoners in the kingdom's Dhahban Prison have allegedly been interrogated by masked jailers, with one made to hang for long periods of time from the ceiling, sources told Human Rights Watch.

Several showed physical signs of torture, including difficulty walking, uncontrolled shaking of the hands, and red marks and scratches on their faces and necks. At least one of the women attempted to commit suicide multiple times, according to testimonies.

The charity said it was unclear whether they were seeking to force the women to sign confessions or merely to punish them for their peaceful advocacy.

Saudi authorities responded to the report by saying Riyadh "does not condone, promote, or allow the use of torture".

© Daily Telegraph, London

Telegraph.co.uk

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