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article imageSaudi Crown Prince denies knowledge of torture of female activist

By Ken Hanly     Oct 1, 2019 in Politics
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman denies any knowledge about the allegations of torture of a female activist. The allegations have also been denied by the public prosecutor.
Activist's family bring torture allegations
The family of Loujain al-Hathloul who was arrested in a crackdown last year have alleged that the campaigner has faced repeated torture and sexual harassment while in prison. The family also claims Loujain was threatened with rape. The torture was claimed to be overseen by the Saudi al-Qahtani the Crown Prince's "right-hand' man.
Hathloul is one of ten other women activists who are on trial on charges that are described as bogus by Amnesty International.
Hathioul is one among other detainees who have complained of being subject to electric shocks, flogging, and groping while in detention.
The deal to release Hathloul
An August article reports: "Saudi authorities have offered to release jailed activist Loujain al-Hathloul in exchange for her video testimony denying that she had been tortured and sexually harassed in prison, her family claimed on Tuesday. The Saudi state security has visited my sister in prison recently. They have asked her to... appear on video to deny the torture and harassment," her brother Walid al-Hathloul, who is based in Canada, said on Twitter."That was part of a deal to release her." "
Bin Salman's interview
In an interview on CBS Bin Salman replied when asked whether the torture reports were true said: "If this is correct, it is very heinous. Islam forbids torture. The Saudi laws forbid torture. Human conscience forbids torture." Bin Salman said he would personally follow up on the allegations. The public prosecutor has already ruled that the allegations are false. However, several human rights organizations have claimed to have verified the allegations.
Saudi Arabia's criminal code also prohibits torture but human rights organizations have routinely accused the Saudis of torture.
Bin Salman claims arrested activists have contacts with foreign agencies
Last year in another interview on CBS said: "They have connections with agencies of other countries. They have a network, connection with government people, leaking information for the sake these other governments. Secret intelligence.We have some of them with videos. We can show it to you." However, no such videos were ever released or seen by reporters.
Ironically the arrest of other Hathiloul and other prominent female activists who campaigned for the right of women to drive came just weeks before the government actually lifted the ban on women driving.
UN human rights experts urge that Hathloul be released
The experts released a statement saying: "It is shocking hypocritical that Ms al-Hathloul remains in prison for campaigning to change laws which have since been amended. Indeed, she should never have been imprisoned in the first place for exercising her fundamental rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. In spite of recent improvements in Saudi Arabia's male guardianship laws, it is imperative that the world does not lose sight of the human rights concerns which persist in the country, as human rights defenders have continued to express."
Bin Salman involvement suspected in Khashoggi murder
Wikipedia reports on the murder: "The assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident, journalist for The Washington Post and former general manager and editor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Channel, occurred on 2 October 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey and was perpetrated by agents of the Saudi Arabian government.[4][5] The exact cause of his death is unknown since his body has not been located or examined.[6][7][8] Government officials of several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, believe Khashoggi was murdered. Turkey in particular believes it was premeditated murder, and anonymous Saudi officials have admitted that agents affiliated with the Saudi government killed him.[6][9]"
The Saudis have never admitted that Bin Salman was involved but a critical UN report suggested that he be investigated. The CIA is reported to have concluded that Bin Salman ordered the Khashoggi murder.
US president is a strong supporter of BIn Salman.
More about Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi arabia, Loujain alHathloul
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