Saudi government dismisses ‘baseless’ claims from human rights groups that ‘enemies of state’ male and female activists were tortured and sexually abused during interrogation
- Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch accused Saudi Arabia of abuse
- The groups claim that the country has sexually harassed and tortured activists
- The kingdom strongly denies the claims, which they have labelled as ‘baseless’
Saudi Arabia has dismissed reports from human rights groups that detained activists, including women, faced sexual harassment and torture during interrogation.
In a statement, the kingdom said: ‘These recent reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are baseless.
The government added that it ‘strongly denies’ the accusations that are ‘simply wrong’.
Saudi Arabia denies reports by human rights groups that detained activists, including women, faced sexual harassment and torture during interrogation in prison
The activists, held since May in Dhahban prison on the western Red Sea coast, have faced repeated electrocution and flogging, leaving some of them unable to stand or walk, Amnesty International said on Tuesday, citing three separate testimonies.
At least one activist was made to hang from a ceiling, the campaign added.
In addition to the torture, at least three women activists also endured ‘forcible kissing and hugging’, Human Rights Watch said in a separate statement also on Tuesday.
Many of them were accused of undermining security and aiding enemies of the state.
The latest criticism comes after Saudi Arabia faced intense global scrutiny after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi (pictured)
Some were subsequently released.
The reports came as Saudi Arabia faces intense global criticism over the killing of insider-turned-critic Jamal Khashoggi in its Istanbul consulate on October 2, which tipped the kingdom into one of its worst crises.
More than a dozen activists were arrested in May — just before the historic lifting of a decades-long ban on women drivers the following month.