SAUDI ARABIA’S POLITICAL PRISONERS: Towards a Third Decade of Silence

SAUDI ARABIA’S POLITICAL PRISONERS: Towards a Third Decade of Silence


IHRC’s briefing into the 30,000 Saudi Political Prisoners.  Read the full report here.

From the introduction:

“Saudi Arabia is a country in which the al-Saud family represents the absolute political, cultural and religious authority. This absolutist nature of the Saudi state ensures that free speech is stifled and that all forms of political opposition and dissent are harshly suppressed and silenced. Among the primary tools of this suppression, the government employs the tactic of arbitrary detention without charge or trial, in addition to staging sham trials lacking any semblance of due process, both of which have become hallmarks of Saudi “justice.”

“Political imprisonment in Saudi Arabia is an epidemic has not spared any sector of Saudi society, including reformists, human rights activists, lawyers, political parties, religious scholars, bloggers, individual protestors, as well as long-standing government supporters who merely voiced mild and partial criticism of government policy. The known political prisons in Saudi Arabia have a capacity to hold 10,000, yet insider reports confirm these prisons to be oversubscribed three times over, with some prisoners even known to be held at irregular detention facilities, putting the actual number of political prisoners at over 30,000. This is exceptionally high considering the country’s total population stands at around 27 million, of whom only around 18 million are Saudi nationals.

“The purpose of this briefing is to draw attention to some key case studies of political imprisonment in Saudi Arabia, highlighting the diverse nature of the victims of imprisonment, with a focus on ongoing cases of suppression.”


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