Saudi dissidents being 'murdered, sexually assaulted' in jail: report

Saudi dissidents being 'murdered, sexually assaulted' in jail: report
A study by rights group Grant Liberty has revealed that critics imprisoned by Riyadh for opposing the government are being sexually assaulted and murdered in prison.
2 min read
25 June, 2022
The study identified more than 300 prisoners of conscience imprisoned by Saudi authorities since Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman took de-facto control of the country [Getty]

A new study has revealed that prisoners detained for opposing the government of Saudi Arabia are being sexually assaulted and murdered in prison, as reported by The Independent.

The study, compiled by a human rights group called Grant Liberty, identified 311 prisoners of conscience who have been imprisoned since Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman took de-facto control of the Kingdom. 

The report revealed that 53 prisoners have been tortured, six were sexually assaulted, and 14 were pressured to undergo hunger strikes. 

 It also identified 54 journalists who were imprisoned, as well as 23 women’s rights campaigners, 11 of whom are still in detention. 

22 prisoners were arrested for crimes carried out while they were children, five of whom were later executed. Four others have died in custody, while another 13 are facing the death penalty, according to the report. 

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“Sadly the abuse of the prisoners of conscience continues as the world watches on, women are subjected to sustained and brutal violations with no basic human rights,” said Lucy Rae, a representative of Grant Liberty as quoted by The Independent

“We call upon the kingdom to back up its statement of being a ‘modern and progressive country’ with actions and release innocent individuals who were disappeared, were arrested and subjected to sham trials,” she added. 

Saudi Arabia has a very poor human rights record, and routinely imprisons those who oppose the monarchy or criticise the government.

Earlier this year, UN human rights chief Michele Bachelet condemned Riyadh for executing a record 81 people in a single day.