Leaked reports reveal severe abuse of Saudi political prisoners

Cuts, burns and bruising documented, despite government refusals of torture

Political captives in Saudi Arabia are said to be suffering from malnutrition, cuts, bruises and burns, are in accordance with leaked medical reports that are understood to have been prepared for the country’s ruler, King Salman.

The reports seem to provide the first documented proof from within the heart of the royal court that political prisoner are facing severe physical abuse, despite the government’s refusals that men and women in custody are being tortured.

The Guardian has been told the medical reports will be given to King Salman along with recommendations that are said to include a potential forgivenes for all the prisoners, or at least early release for those working with serious health problems.

Ha’er Ha’er prison in Saudi Arabia. Photograph: Faisal Al Nasser/ Reuters

These options are part of a substantial internal review said to have been ordered by the king, who approved the commissioning of examinations of up to 60 captives, many of them women, for a report to be circulated around the royal court, a source said.

Some of the assessments were leaked to the Guardian, which asked the Saudi government to comment on the medical reports more than a week ago. A spokesman declined to discuss the issue, despite being given repeated opportunities to do so. Officials did not challenge the authenticity of the reports.

The Guardian has been able independently to verify the accuracy and contents of one of the examinations. The conditions of other individuals, as described in the documents, are consistent with reports that have emerged involving claims of torture, though the Guardian has not been able to corroborate the details.

Pressure on Saudi Arabia over the detention and treatment of political prisoners has been growing in recent months amid claims that some female activists have been subjected to electric shocks and lashes in custody.

With the kingdom also reeling from the aftermath of the murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, King Salman is said to have ordered a review of the decision to arrest and detain about 200 men and women in a crackdown ordered by his heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

According to a source with knowledge of the review, the royal court set aside objections from Prince Mohammed’s aides and sought brief medical exam on a number of detainees to get a snapshot of their health.

The men believed to have been examined include Adel Ahmad Banaemah, Mohammed Saud Al Bisher, Fahad Abdullaziz Al-Sunaidi, Zuhair Kutbi, Abdullaziz Fawzan al-Fawzan and Yasser Abdullah al-Ayyaf.

The Guardian understands the women include Samar Mohammad Badawi, Hatoon Ajwad al-Fassi and Abeer Adbdullatif Al Namankany.

The Guardian has been told the examinations took place in January and the medical reports, which are marked confidential, have been included in a detailed overview that includes three broad recommendations to the king about what to do next.

According to the medical reports watched by the Guardian, the comments about the detainees indicate many have been severely ill-treated and have a range of health problems.

In almost all cases, the reports demanded the prisoners be urgently transferred from solitary confinement to a medical centre.

Crown Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, left, with King Salman. The statements on detainees include 😛 TAGEND

” The patient suffers from severe weight loss with continuous bloody vomiting. There are also a number of meanders and bruises scattered in several areas of the body”

” There are also a number of visible injuries in the chest and lower back”

” The patient must be transferred from solitary confinement to the specialised clinic for immediate treatment and further medical examination”

” The patient has difficulty walking because of a number of bruises visible on the legs area. A number of injuries are also visible on the forearm and lower back region. Malnutrition and obvious dryness on the skin”

” The patient suffers from a number of bruises visible on the body, especially in the areas of back, abdomen and thighs. It also appears to be malnourished due to lack of feeing and facial pallor and general weakness in the body”

” The patient cannot move at all due to wounds in both legs as well as severe weakness in the body due to malnutrition and lack of liquids”

” The patient suffers from severe burns throughout the body. Old wounds were not altogether mended because of medical negligence”

” The patient suffers from difficulty in motion due to severe malnutrition and general absence of liquids. There are also a number of bruises, wounds and sores throughout the body”

A protester’s picture of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, killed while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Photograph: Osman Orsal/ Reuters

Leaked reports disclose severe abuse of Saudi political prisoners

Cuts, burns and bruising documented, despite government refusals of torture

Political prisoners in Saudi Arabia are said to be suffering from malnutrition, cuts, bruises and burns, according to leaked medical reports that are understood to have been prepared for the country’s ruler, King Salman.

The reports seem to provide the first documented proof from within the heart of the royal court that political prisoners are facing severe physical abuse, despite the government’s refusals that men and women in custody are being tortured.

The Guardian has been told the medical reports will be given to King Salman along with recommendations that are said to include a potential pardon for all the prisoners, or at least early release for those with serious health problems.

Ha’er Ha’er prison in Saudi Arabia. Photograph: Faisal Al Nasser/ Reuters

These alternatives are part of a substantial internal review said to have been ordered by the king, who approved the commissioning of examinations of up to 60 prisoners, many of them women, for a report to be circulated around the royal court, a source said.

Some of the evaluation were leaked to the Guardian, which asked the Saudi government to comment on the medical reports more than a week ago. A spokesman declined to discuss the issue, despite being given recurred opportunities to do so. Officials did not challenge the authenticity of the reports.

The Guardian has been able independently to verify the accuracy and contents of one of the examinations. The conditions of other someones, as described in the documents, are consistent with reports that have emerged involving claims of torture, though the Guardian has not been able to corroborate the details.

Pressure on Saudi Arabia over the detention and treatment of political prisoner has been growing in recent months amid claims that some female activists have been subjected to electric shocks and whips in custody.

With the kingdom also reeling from the aftermath of the murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, King Salman is said to have ordered a review of the decision to arrest and detain about 200 men and women in a crackdown ordered by his heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

According to a source with knowledge of the review, the royal court set aside objections from Prince Mohammed’s aides and sought brief medical examination on a number of detainees to get a snapshot of their health.

The men believed to have been examined include Adel Ahmad Banaemah, Mohammed Saud Al Bisher, Fahad Abdullaziz Al-Sunaidi, Zuhair Kutbi, Abdullaziz Fawzan al-Fawzan and Yasser Abdullah al-Ayyaf.

The Guardian understands the women include Samar Mohammad Badawi, Hatoon Ajwad al-Fassi and Abeer Adbdullatif Al Namankany.

The Guardian has been told the examinations took place in January and the medical reports, which are marked confidential, have been included in a detailed overview that includes three broad recommendations to the king about what to do next.

According to the medical reports considered by the Guardian, the comments about the detainees indicate many have been severely ill-treated and have a range of health problems.

In almost all cases, the reports demanded the prisoners be urgently transferred from solitary confinement to a medical centre.

Crown Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, left, with King Salman. The remarks on detainees include 😛 TAGEND

” The patient suffers from severe weight loss with continuous bloody vomiting. There are also a number of wounds and bruises scattered in several areas of the body”

” There are also a number of visible injuries in the chest and lower back”

” The patient must be transferred from solitary confinement to the specialised clinic for immediate therapy and further medical exam”

” The patient has difficulty stroll because of a number of bruises visible on the legs area. A number of injuries are also visible on the forearm and lower back area. Malnutrition and obvious dryness on the scalp”

” The patient suffers from a number of bruises visible on the body, especially in the areas of back, abdomen and thighs. It also appears to be malnourished due to lack of eating and facial pallor and general weakness in the body”

” The patient cannot move at all due to wounds in both legs as well as severe weakness in the body due to malnutrition and absence of liquids”

” The patient suffers from severe burns throughout the body. Old meanders were not wholly healed because of medical negligence”

” The patient suffers from difficulty in movement due to severe malnutrition and general absence of fluids. There are also a number of bruises, meanders and sores throughout the body”

A protester’s picture of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, killed while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Photograph: Osman Orsal/ Reuters

Leaked reports disclose severe abuse of Saudi political prisoners

Cuts, burns and bruising documented, despite government denials of torture

Political prisoners in Saudi Arabia are said to be suffering from malnutrition, cuts, bruises and burns, according to leaked medical reports that are understood to have been prepared for the country’s ruler, King Salman.

The reports seem to provide the first documented evidence from within the heart of the royal court that political prisoners are facing severe physical abuse, despite the government’s denials that men and women in custody are being tortured.

The Guardian has been told the medical reports will be given to King Salman along with recommendations that are said to include a potential forgivenes for all the prisoners, or at least early release for those with serious health problems.

Ha’er Ha’er prison in Saudi Arabia. Photograph: Faisal Al Nasser/ Reuters

These options are part of a substantial internal review said to have been ordered by the king, who approved the commissioning of examinations of up to 60 captives, many of them women, for a report to be circulated around the royal court, a source said.

Some of the assessments were leaked to the Guardian, which asked the Saudi government to comment on the medical reports more than a week ago. A spokesman declined to discuss the issue, despite being given recurred opportunities to do so. Officials did not challenge the authenticity of the reports.

The Guardian has been able independently to verify the accuracy and contents of one of the written examination. The conditions of other someones, as described in the documents, are consistent with reports that have emerged involving claims of torture, though the Guardian has not been able to corroborate the details.

Pressure on Saudi Arabia over the detention and treatment of political prisoner has been growing in recent months amid claims that some female activists have been subjected to electric shocks and lashes in custody.

With the kingdom also reeling from the consequences of the the murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, King Salman is said to have ordered a review of the decision to arrest and incarcerate about 200 men and women in a crackdown ordered by his heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

According to a source with knowledge of the review, the royal court set aside objections from Prince Mohammed’s aides and sought brief medical examination on a number of detainees to get a snapshot of their health.

The humen believed to have been examined include Adel Ahmad Banaemah, Mohammed Saud Al Bisher, Fahad Abdullaziz Al-Sunaidi, Zuhair Kutbi, Abdullaziz Fawzan al-Fawzan and Yasser Abdullah al-Ayyaf.

The Guardian understands the women include Samar Mohammad Badawi, Hatoon Ajwad al-Fassi and Abeer Adbdullatif Al Namankany.

The Guardian has been told the examinations took place in January and the medical reports, which are marked confidential, have been included in a detailed overview that includes three broad recommendations to the king about what to do next.

According to the medical reports ensure by the Guardian, the comments about the detainees indicate many have been severely ill-treated and have a range of health problems.

In almost all cases, the reports demanded the prisoners be urgently transferred from solitary confinement to a medical centre.

Crown Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, left, with King Salman. The remarks on detainees include 😛 TAGEND

” The patient suffers from severe weight loss with continuous bloody vomiting. There are also a number of meanders and bruises scattered in several areas of the body”

” There are also a number of visible traumata in the chest and lower back”

” The patient must be transferred from solitary confinement to the specialised clinic for immediate treatment and further medical examinations”

” The patient has difficulty walking because of a number of bruises visible on the legs area. A number of injuries are also visible on the forearm and lower back region. Malnutrition and obvious dryness on the skin”

” The patient suffers from a number of bruises visible on the body, especially in the areas of back, abdomen and thighs. It also appears to be malnourished due to lack of eating and facial pallor and general weakness in the body”

” The patient cannot move at all due to wounds in both legs as well as severe weakness in the body due to malnutrition and lack of fluids”

” The patient suffers from severe burns throughout the body. Old wounds were not wholly mended because of medical negligence”

” The patient suffers from difficulty in motion due to severe malnutrition and general absence of liquids. There are also a number of bruises, meanders and sores throughout the body”

A protester’s picture of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, killed while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Photograph: Osman Orsal/ Reuters

Leaked reports uncover severe abuse of Saudi political prisoners

Cuts, burns and bruising documented, despite government denials of torture

Political captives in Saudi Arabia are said to be suffering from malnutrition, cuts, bruises and burns, according to leaked medical reports that are understood to have been prepared for the country’s ruler, King Salman.

The reports seem to provide the first documented proof from within the heart of the royal court that political prisoner are facing severe physical abuse, despite the government’s denials that men and women in custody are being tortured.

The Guardian has been told the medical reports will be given to King Salman along with recommendations that are said to include a potential forgivenes for all the prisoners, or at least early release for those working with serious health problems.

Ha’er Ha’er prison in Saudi Arabia. Photograph: Faisal Al Nasser/ Reuters

These alternatives are part of a substantial internal review said to have been ordered by the king, who approved the commissioning of examinations of up to 60 prisoners, many of them women, for a report to be circulated around the royal court, a source said.

Some of the assessments were leaked to the Guardian, which asked the Saudi government to comment on the medical reports more than a week ago. A spokesman declined to discuss the issue, despite please give repeated opportunities to do so. Officials did not challenge the authenticity of the reports.

The Guardian has been able independently to verify the accuracy and contents of one of the examinations. The conditions of other someones, as described in the documents, are consistent with reports that have emerged involving claims of torture, though the Guardian has not been able to corroborate the details.

Pressure on Saudi Arabia over the detention and treatment of political prisoner has been growing in recent months amid claims that some female activists have been subjected to electric shocks and whips in custody.

With the kingdom also reeling from the aftermath of the murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, King Salman is said to have ordered a review of the decision to arrest and detain about 200 men and women in a crackdown ordered by his heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

According to a source with knowledge of the review, the royal court set aside objections from Prince Mohammed’s aides and sought brief medical examinations on a number of detainees to get a snapshot of their health.

The men believed to have been examined include Adel Ahmad Banaemah, Mohammed Saud Al Bisher, Fahad Abdullaziz Al-Sunaidi, Zuhair Kutbi, Abdullaziz Fawzan al-Fawzan and Yasser Abdullah al-Ayyaf.

The Guardian understands the women include Samar Mohammad Badawi, Hatoon Ajwad al-Fassi and Abeer Adbdullatif Al Namankany.

The Guardian has been told the examinations took place in January and the medical reports, which are marked confidential, have been included in a detailed overview that includes three broad recommendations to the king about what to do next.

According to the medical reports considered by the Guardian, the comments about the detainees indicate many have been severely ill-treated and have a range of health problems.

In almost all cases, the reports demanded the prisoners be urgently transferred from solitary confinement to a medical centre.

Crown Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, left, with King Salman. The statements on detainees include 😛 TAGEND

” The patient suffers from severe weight loss with continuous bloody vomiting. There are also a number of wounds and bruises scattered in several areas of the body”

” There are also a number of visible traumata in the chest and lower back”

” The patient must be transferred from solitary confinement to the specialised clinic for immediate therapy and further medical examination”

” The patient has difficulty walking because of a number of bruises visible on the legs area. A number of injuries are also visible on the forearm and lower back region. Malnutrition and obvious dryness on the skin”

” The patient suffers from a number of bruises visible on the body, especially in the areas of back, abdomen and thighs. It also appears to be malnourished due to lack of eating and facial pallor and general weakness in the body”

” The patient cannot move at all due to wounds in both legs as well as severe weakness in the body due to malnutrition and lack of liquids”

” The patient suffers from severe burns throughout the body. Old meanders were not altogether mended because of medical negligence”

” The patient suffers from difficulty in motion due to severe malnutrition and general absence of fluids. There are also a number of bruises, wounds and sores throughout the body”

A protester’s picture of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, killed while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Photograph: Osman Orsal/ Reuters

‘Please don’t forget us’: the hellish search for Syria’s lost prisoners

A new documentary hears from the individuals who stimulated it out of Assads prisons and their gruesome quest to identify others who have died in custody

I still recollect their last words to me: Please dont forget us. This rings in my ears every day like church bells, like a daily call for prayer.

Mansour al-Omari, a Syrian human rights activist, recalls the moment his name was called by the jailer after expending nine months in detention. He was lucky to be released, but is haunted by those he left behind.

Conditions in the Syrian regime detention centres are hellish. Detainees describe being held in overcrowded cells, suffering from malnutrition and regular physical and psychological abuse. Thousands have died under torment, or due to the hostile conditions and neglect. And many former detainees, ones I have interviewed for the movie Syrias Vanished: The Case Against Assad, harbour survivors guilt.

Mazen Alhummada, a leftwing activist and employee of an petroleum company who was detained for 18 months, told us: When “were in” imprisoned, we promised each other that if one of us got out we would tell the world what was happening inside. I am determined to uncover this regime, just as we agreed. Its my duty to the people who are still there. Mansour echoed this: It is always a remedy to my spirits pain to help those who are still underground.

Mansour
Mansour al-Omari: It is our duty to act. Photo: Channel 4

Tens of thousands of Syrians are currently missing in detention, a hidden horror of the six-year-old Syrian civil war. Detention has long been a tool of repression for the state to stillnes and punish its critics, but it has never before been meted out as punishment on such a vast scale.

From the outbreak of the peaceful protests in 2011 in the aftermath of the Arab spring, President Bashar al-Assads regime cracked down heavily on any and all opponent. Demands for reform were met by gunfire and the security forces stimulated mass arrests. With the country since descended into a brutal civil war, the arrests and detentions have continued to the present day.

The Syrian regime refuses to disclose the names of those detained or recognise how many people are being held in its clandestine prisons. For families and friends of those detained, this is another form of torture. They search for news about their disappeared loved ones , not knowing whether they are dead or alive.

Mazen has several close family members currently disappeared in detention. I miss them so much. They dont leave my intellect. I look at their photos every day and they give me strength to keep going.

Documentation created by the Syrian regime attests to their brutality. Photographs taken by the military police catalogue the dead; thousands of these photographs were smuggled out of the country in 2013 by a defector codenamed Caesar. They prove more than 6,700 corpses of those who died in the custody of the regime. Many of the bodies are emaciated and prove clear signs of torture, with bruises, burns and eyes gouged out. The corpses are numbered and pictured with a card recording their detention facility.

The Syrian Association for Missing and Conscience Detainees has published headshots of these corpses online to enable identification. Households trawl through the Caesar shots looking for missing loved ones. This grim search is plagued with uncertainty; some faces are mutilated or altered by dramatic weight loss. Relatives appear again and again at lifeless bodies trying to recognise people they once knew.

Despite the difficulties, hundreds of individuals have been identified from the Caesar photos. For Mariam Hallak, detecting the image of her son Ayham brought some relief. There was a sticker on his forehead saying he was corpse 320 are subordinate to detention facility 215. For Mariam, he was her youngest son, 25 years old, a popular young man who had been studying for a masters in dentistry.

Seeing Ayhams photograph some close for Mariam, but she still has no clue where his body is. She dreams of having a tomb for her son. She also wants President Assad and the heads of the security branches to be prosecuted.

The UN has accused the Syrian government of the assassination, rape, torment and extermination of detainees, yet action on accountability for these crimes against humanity has been hampered. A security council resolution to refer Syria to the international criminal tribunal was vetoed by Russia and China.

The Syrian regime has repeatedly rejected access to independent international monitors to inspect its detention facilities. Amnesty and other groups have been calling for action on this, and for the regime to publish their lists of detainees, their whereabouts and what has happened to the bodies of those who have died.

We have the evidence, Mansour pleads. And there is an urgent need to save those who are still alive. It is our duty to act.

Syrias Disappeared: The Case Against Assad is on Channel 4, Thursday 23 March, 10 pm .

Read more: www.theguardian.com