Human Rights Watch condemns reports of torture of activists in Saudi Arabia
(22 Nov 2018) Human Rights Watch condemned on Thursday reports about torture of activists imprisoned in Saudi Arabia, including a number of women.
Saudi Arabia has detained at least 10 women and seven men since May on vague national security allegations related to their human rights work.
Those detained include Loujain al-Hathloul, Eman al-Nafjan and Aziza al-Yousef, who had campaigned for the right to drive before the decades-long ban was lifted in June.
Hiba Zayadin from Human Rights Watch in Jordan said testimonies say some of the activists were repeatedly tortured by electrocution and flogging, as well as subjected to sexual harassment.
Nearly all the women detained are mothers or grandmothers and well-known in their fields of work, she said.
The kingdom is at the center of an international firestorm after the brutal killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who had written critically about Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s crackdown on dissent, including the arrests of the women activists.
Khashoggi was killed and then dismembered by Saudi agents in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
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