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Saudi: 145 violations against women under MBS

August 21, 2019 at 1:07 pm

Saudi women in Riyadh, on 15 December 2018 [FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images]

The international rights organisation We Record has documented 145 violations against women under Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

We Record said that violations against female detainees between 2017, when he assumed office, and 2019 are more severe than those between 2010 and 2014.

According to their statistics at least 16 women have been subjected to psychological torture and nine to physical torture including beating, whipping, electrocution and waterboarding. Six women have been sexually harassed.

Women have been forcibly disappeared and threatened with rape and murder in secret prisons run by the Royal Court’s State Security Presidency. A new headquarters has been dedicated for torturing detainees run by Saud Al-Qahtani, who is accused of murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Other detention centres in the kingdom have been dubbed “house of horror” and “officers’ rest house”.

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Activist Loujain Al-Hathloul, 29, was repeatedly tortured by interrogators who reportedly told her “no one is above us, not even God” after she was arrested in May 2018 after she campaigned for the ban on female drivers to be eased.

Al-Hathloul was whipped, electrocuted and forced to eat during Ramadan. Her husband was abducted from Jordan in February 2019 and forced to divorce his wife.

Earlier this month Al-Hathloul rejected a proposal to secure her release from prison in exchange for a video statement in which she would say she had not been tortured.

Khadija Al-Harbi was heavily pregnant when she was arrested and suffered health problems that risked harming her unborn baby. Activists launched a wide scale campaign on social media calling on authorities to immediately release her.

Haila Al-Qaseer, 51, was the first female detainee in Saudi after she was arrested in February 2015, forcibly disappeared for two weeks, tortured and forced to remove her headscarf. She was sentenced to 15 years in prison and a 15-year travel ban after that.

Saudi media has presented the Crown Prince as a saviour who will empower women yet since he assumed power female detainees have suffered an unprecedented level of suffering.

Is it the end of guardianship in Saudi Arabia? - Cartoon [Mohammad Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Is it the end of guardianship in Saudi Arabia? – Cartoon [Mohammad Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]