Mon Sep 19, 2011
Activists in Saudi Arabia say there are more than 30,000 political prisoners, mostly prisoners of conscious, in jails across the Kingdom, Press TV has learned.
According to the activists, most of the detained political thinkers are being held by the government without trials or legitimate charges and that they were arrested for merely appearing suspicious.
Some of the detainees are reported to be held without trial for more than 16 years.
Attempting to incite the public against the monarchy and allegiance to foreign entities are usually the ready-made charges leveled against political dissidents.
Families of political prisoners have repeatedly pleaded with the ruling monarch to at least give their loved ones a fair trial. However, the king has for years ignored their calls.
Over the past months, Saudi activists in the Eastern Province have staged several anti-government protests, demanding reforms and immediate release of political prisoners.
Their campaign for human rights reform, freedom of expression and political reforms ended with an unexpected outcome: the anti-terror law, which gives the ministry of interior superior powers to detain suspects incommunicado for up to 120 days amendable to indefinite extension.
The law also defines terror crimes as any action endangering national unity, an ambiguous definition which can be extended to peaceful demonstrations.
Human Rights Watch says more than 160 dissidents have been arrested since February as part of the Saudi government’s crackdown on anti-government protesters.
According to the Saudi-based Human Rights First Society (HRFS), the detainees were subject to torture both physically and mentally.