From the Human Rights Watch
(Beirut) – Informed sources say that Saudi interrogators tortured at least three of the Saudi women activists detained beginning in May 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. The reports allege that torture by Saudi authorities included administering electric shocks, whipping the women on their thighs, and forcible hugging and kissing, Human Rights Watch said today. The sources were concerned that they and the activists would suffer reprisals if the women were identified publicly.
Saudi Arabia should immediately and credibly investigate the allegations of abuse in detention. The authorities should publicly guarantee the safety of all detained activists, allow the detained women unfettered access to lawyers and family members, provide evidence of their well-being, and release those jailed solely for peacefully advocating reform. Saudi Arabia’s allies, and major car companies, should call on Saudi authorities to unconditionally release women’s rights activists detained for their role in the right to drive campaign and for advocating other freedoms.
“Any brutal torture of Saudi women activists would show no limit to the Saudi authorities’ campaign of wanton cruelty against critics and human rights activists,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Any government that tortures women for demanding basic rights should face withering international criticism, not unblinking US and UK support.”
The sources say that masked Saudi interrogators tortured the women during the initial stages of interrogation, but it was unclear whether they were seeking to force the women to sign confessions or merely to punish them for their peaceful advocacy. Following the interrogations, sources said, the women 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, the sources said.
See full report here.