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Judicial CP - December 2004
Arab News, Jeddah/Dhahran/Riyadh, 7 December 2004
Rights Body Hits Out at Prison Conditions
By Maha Akeel
JEDDAH, 7 December 2004 — The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) has criticized the conditions prevailing in some Saudi prisons.
The negative observation was contained in a report on the activities of its inspection and follow-up committee which included visits to the prisons in Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, Taif and Jizan. The committee deals with complaints and follows up on the cases brought up by individuals and the media.
The NSHR has forwarded to the Ministry of Interior the complaints it received from 47 prisoners or their families about delays in getting a court hearing, being imprisoned even after serving their terms, being forced to confess or detained just out of suspicion.
The negative observations about the prison conditions include overcrowding, months of delay in releasing some prisoners — especially expatriates whose sponsors refuse to buy them air tickets or who don’t have a sponsor, and prolonged detention without trial which is in violation of the system that states a detainee should not be kept more than six months without a hearing.
The female prisoners complained of excesses while carrying out sentences of flogging. A woman who witnessed the whipping told Arab News that it was an awful sight. “The guards strip them of most of their clothing and you can see the marks and blood on their body,” she said.
Explaining the conditions inside jails, a female prison guard said overcrowding was a major problem. “We do have periods of overcrowding and then they clear out,” she told Arab News on condition of anonymity.
She said female prisoners on death row are kept in solitary confinement. The prisoners receive SR60 monthly salary with which they can buy whatever they want through a shopper who visits them once a week and take their requests.
Copyright: Arab News © 2003 All rights reserved.
The Times, London, 10 December 2004
Riyadh: The authorities have flogged two teenagers who were caught spray-painting graffiti that supported Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, police said. The boys, 15 and 16, had written the graffiti on walls in the streets of Nimas, a town in the south west. (AP)
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