Amnesty Opens Probe of Alleged Torture in Saudi Arabia’s Prisons
Human rights campaigners have started an investigation into Saudi Arabian prisons after a Scotsman alleged he was tortured in one, according to a UK tabloid that claims the investigation was sparked by a story it published.
Amnesty International started a high-level inquiry after the Sunday Mail published Gordon Malloch's account of his time in a Saudi prison.
He was sentenced to three and a half years in jail, 460 lashes and a fine of 120,000 pounds for illegally trading in whisky.
His claimed his head was shaved and the soles of his feet beaten as he hung manacled from a tree.
“Now Amnesty wants to use his testimony in their battle to improve the plight of prisoners in Saudi,” said the Mail, adding that Gordon, 47, was willing to cooperate.
Amnesty spokesman Neil Durkin was quoted as saying that "we have not been able to go to Saudi Arabia for decades and are reliant on information from people like Mr. Malloch.
"There is nothing more compelling than hearing from someone who has been there and suffered."
At the moment, concern is mounting for two Scots held in Saudi prisons, according to the report.
Sandy Mitchell faces a public beheading after confessing on Saudi TV to a wave of bombings.
Dave Mornin has been sentenced to 300 lashes and a year in jail for his part in a booze racket.
Mr. Durkin said: "We feel the Foreign Office has been pretty much soft pedaling on human rights.
"We feel the government has not been firm enough with Saudi Arabia, and that foreign policy is being dictated by strategic and financial interests."
Saudi Arabia’s criminal law, which is based on the Islamic Sharia, is under fire by human rights watchdogs, an interference the kingdom categorically rejects.
Despite the criticism, the Islamic country is praised for its high level of personal and property security.
Saudi Arabia applies the death sentence, beheading by sword, to murderers, drug traffickers, rapists and armed robbers - Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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