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Fri Dec 7, 2018, 07:51 AM

Saudi Arabia: Allow Access to Detained Women Activists

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia should immediately allow independent international monitors to access Saudi women’s rights advocates detained since May 2018 to ensure their safety and well-being, Human Rights Watch said today.

On November 23, Saudi Arabia’s media ministry denied evidence published by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International that Saudi authorities had tortured and sexually harassed and assaulted at least three detained activists. On November 28, Human Rights Watch received a report from an informed source indicating that Saudi authorities had tortured a fourth woman activist. Sources said the torture of Saudi women activists may be ongoing. Saudi Arabia should immediately and credibly investigate the allegations of abuse in detention, hold accountable any individuals found complicit in torture and mistreatment of detainees, and provide redress for activists abused during this prolonged pretrial detention.

“Saudi Arabia’s consistent lies about senior officials’ role in Jamal Khashoggi’s murder mean that the government’s denials that it tortured these women activists are not nearly good enough,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Unless independent monitors are able to confirm the women activists’ well-being, there is every reason to believe that the Saudi authorities have treated them with unspeakable cruelty.”

The sources for the allegations of torture were concerned that they and the activists would suffer reprisals if the women were identified publicly. Media outlets including The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal also reported the torture allegations.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/12/06/saudi-arabia-allow-access-detained-women-activists

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