Riyadh (AM) – The Euro-Mediterranean for Human Rights Monitor urged the Saudi authorities to immediately reveal the fate of dozens of Palestinians who have been subjected to forced disappearance and release them unless convicted of any violation.

The Geneva-based group said in a statement that it could not give an exact number of the Palestinian detainees, but it has names of about 60 people, while estimates within the Palestinian community in Saudi Arabia says that the number far exceeds this.

The Euro-Med added that it was able to document testimonies from eleven Palestinian families whose children have been arrested or forcibly disappeared in the last few months during their stay or visit to Saudi Arabia, including students, residents, academics and businessmen.

In fact, those people were isolated from the outside world without any specific indictments against them. They were not brought before the public prosecution, nor allowed to communicate with their relatives, or communicate with their lawyers.

“The campaign in Saudi Arabia of arresting Palestinians is but one in a long series of human rights violations in the country”, said Selin Yasar, Euro-Med’s communication and media officer.

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A detainee with an Algerian nationality, who was released recently, has revealed to the Euro-Med some of the practices, violations, and methods of torture that the detainees, especially Palestinians, suffer from by interrogators and jailers of the Dhahban Central Prison in Saudi Arabia.

The former detainee, who left Saudi Arabia last week, said those jailers deprived detainees of sleep or access to medical treatment, although some of them were elderly and in need of special care.

He added that food inside the prison was served in a humiliating way and was sometimes offered in bags and that the jailers kept detainees shackled even while in their prison cells.

The Euro-Med also said it monitored the detention of Palestinian-born people with Arab nationalities while performing pilgrimage this year, but their families remain silent regarding the conditions of their detention in the hope that their nightmare of enforced disappearance would come to an end, and they would return to their normal life.

The campaign of arrests targeting Palestinians is only one of the events that come within a long series of violations add to the Kingdom’s horrific human rights record.

This post originally ran on Almasirah and was republished here with permission. Featured photo: Flickr | Magne Hagesæter


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