Home » Reports » Arrest, harsh treatment and concerns of torturing elders in Saudi Arabia: violations coinciding with the world day of awareness on elder abuse

Arrest, harsh treatment and concerns of torturing elders in Saudi Arabia: violations coinciding with the world day of awareness on elder abuse

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Elders in Saudi Arabia suffer from different kinds of abuse like poverty and lack of the needed health care. Adding that the Saudi government practices arbitrary detentions against elderly people, subjects them to harsh and bad detention circumstances, deprives them from their rights, gives them unfair trialsand uses the official media to insult and discredit them.

In June 15th of each year, the World Day of Awareness on Elder Abuse is celebrated internationally, under a resolution declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 2011. This day aims to raise the international opposition voice “against abusing the elder generations and subjecting them to sufferings”, amid the increase of population of who are more than sixty years old.

The United Nations defines elders’ abuse as causing “harm or distress of elderly. This type of abuse is a violation for human rights including physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, financial and material abuse, abandonment, neglect and loss of dignity and respect”.

Besides, Saudi practices are not only contrary to the principles included in the World Day of Awareness on Elder Abuse but also violate the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment and other laws to which Saudi Arabia has joined among various conventions.

A number of arbitrary detained female and male elderlies are in the Saudi prisons, for various reasons some of them are in retaliation for their reform activity, or for their opposed relative’s activities abroad or targeting for political reasons.

In March 2018 Saudi Arabia has arbitrary detained the sixty years elderly Aida Al Ghamidi, followed it immediately by a severe harsh campaign in the official press, before any investigation of trial. Close family sources refer that the reasons for her detention is receiving a simple financial gift from her son, the oppose, Abdullah Al Ghamidi who resides in London. Al Ghamidi wasn’t allowed to communicate with her family but only once through a short call for a minute. In addition to the arbitrary detention, there are serious concerns from abusing her and not providing her the needed health care for her, knowing that she suffers from some diseases like diabetes.

Among an arrest campaign against a number of female and male activists in the field of women’s rights in May 2018, Saudi Arabia has detained the retired university professor and the leader in women’s rightsMrs. Aziza Al Youssuf (1950); it launched a harsh smear campaign in the official press and networks before any investigation of trial. It also arrested the seventeen years academic doctor Aisha Al Manee (1948) despite her health suffering, before it release her later after an arrest that lasts for 9 days. In addition to Al Youssuf and Al Manee who were detained among a group of women’s rights defenders, Saudi Arabia detained the lawyer and the human right’s defender Ibrahim Al Mudaimegh (1942) for his huge and prominent professional role in pleading for opinion prisoners and a group of sentenced to death detainees, including the members of Hasm Association, members of the Union for Human Rights Assembly, the accused of spying for IranAbbass Al Hassan, the sentenced to death for charges related to belief Ahmad Alshamemeri and the human rights defender IssaAlnakhifi.

Moreover, in the arrests campaign launched by the Saudi government in September 2017, and said that its individuals are facing charges of spying for third party, a number of elders were detained including Sheikh Salman Alouda (1956) and Sheikh AwadAlkarne (1956).

Within a group arrested by Saudi Arabia in 2013 and accused them with espionage for Iran, the philosophy education professor in King Saud University doctor Ali Alhaji (1949) were detained and the public prosecution called for his execution, before he was sentenced to 7 years in prison in April 2018 after a trial which severely lacks the fair conditions and ill-treatment in which he was deprived from most of his rights.

In May 20147 the citizen Abdullah Hussein Tarmukh (63 years) was arrested for sending a rights report for a group on WhatsApp about the Saudi military operation on Al Awamiya. Recently, his trial began on charges of joining a suspicious WhatsApp group and incitement to the regime.

In addition, Sheikh Hussein Alradi (1951) was behind the bars since March 2016, before he was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment for his views that opposes the Saudi government about the war on Yemen and for his condemnation for the execution of the social justice demander Sheikh Nemr Al Nemr.

Furthermore, in March 2014 the human rights defender Abdullah Alhamed (1950) declared a hunger strike for his sufferings in Al Haer prison in Al Riyadh, after he was transferred to a smoking area despite his health situation for his age.

Since 2007, the Saudi government arrested the academic MoussaAlkarni (1954) for charges of going out on the Guardian and establishing a secrete regime, and sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment.

Likely, there are many names of elders in the Saudi prisons distributed between political and criminal prisons.

Saudi government had released in September 2017 the oldest detainee in the country and the former judge Suleiman Alrashudi (1937), 82 years old, after 5 years he spent in prison of his sentence to 15 years imprisonment, for his role in defending human rights and his membership in Hasm Association.

At a time that the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights confirms that these violations are committed through multiple violations of lawsand most of these measures violate the laws or made arbitrary. Yet, these cases also show that Saudi Arabia doesn’t give any special consideration for elders, and treats them equally, regardless of their special age.

According to the Saudi repression on the civil society and according to its lack of adequate attention to the elderlies, the Saudi government is far from the needed theoretical and practical level to provide a dignified treatment for elderlies.

The ongoing Saudi detention of elders and targeting them assure its failure of the United Nations’ resolutions and decisions and its inconsistency with the international trends that aim to enhance the elder’s dignity and rights.

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