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Saudi Arabia Security Forces Beats Women and Utilizes Imported Weapons and Heavy Armored Vehicle in Raiding Homes of Wanted People

لقراءته بالعربية اضغط هنا

An attack (by hitting) was led by the Special Emergency Forces of Saudi Arabia, which is run by the Crown Prince and Minister of the Interior Muhammad bin Nayef, against Saudi women. While they raided a group of houses in November 2016, the European Saudi Organization for Human Rights obtained an audio clip of one of the ladies; she pleaded for her safety while others watched in horror and fears the Forces raided her home. One of the ladies stated: “One [of you] come quickly to the house! They raided the home and beat my mother, beat me, and beat my sister! They broke into the house! Quickly one of you come quickly!”

Images shown from some of the raids sites show the wreckage of an external door and the wall of one of the houses demolished. It is likely the result of bombs used by Emergency Forces to open the doors. This has been a repeated method for opening the doors. The weapons used were imported, and are still being imported. In an earlier raid on June 22, 2016, British and Canadian Equipment was used again in the raids and to kill a citizen; other material damages were caused. Emergency Force in November had carried out at least seven raids, including:

Also shown are internal images, which show the brutal way the searches of the homes were conducted. Across the property, household items were thrown about and doors were broken down (as it appears in photographs of the family home of Alalwan).

The soldiers that raided some homes were known for raids that involved to used violence, subject women to beating and vulgar acts, such as insulting women in the homes. When the troops invaded the home of Bilal Al-Hamad (Ali Al-Hamad’s father),the family heard voices and noises outside of the door; one of the girls went to check the door because she thought it was her father. She was shocked when the soldiers broke into the house. She tried to run but one of the soldiers chased her and grabbed her by her hair, beat her,  and grabbed/scratched her hands. The soldier then asked her about her wanted brother (Bilal); the soldiers were of heavily armed with deadly weapons. While she was screaming that she wanted to go to her mother, they run ahead of her to the mother’s room. The soldiers stormed into the mother’s bedroom while she was asleep and beat her as well; the mother was not fully clothed. Also, the family has a girl who has special needs; she was subjected to intimidation and abuse as well by the soldiers. The soldiers went to the roof of the house to inspect it, then they destroyed the satellite TV, thereby damaging the roof and equipment. In addition to vandalism of the house, there were several devices stolen (such as cameras, laptops, mobile phones, etc.) with an estimated value of the stolen items is approximately 20,000 SR. The soldiers also photographed the house, which included filming the women who were not properly dressed.

Also stolen from the home of Abdullah Al-Hamada was the amount of 240,000SR (equal to $64,000 USD) as well as items belonging to his wife; the house was vandalized and the contents were scattered about. A bomb was used to open the outer door.

The names of those who were to be arrested were announced by the Ministry of Interior; the raids were meant to detain only those who were on the wanted list. However, other family members present during the raids on the Alalwan house were arrested: someone from the family of Alalwan; Mofeed Hamza Alalwan’s brother; and another member of the Alhuraif family. None of those who were arrested were wanted prior to the incident.

In these cases of such violations, victims often keep quiet about what had happened to them (not report it to the media) as a result of the fear of government retaliation. Raids produce psychological damage: a woman from one of the houses raided suffered psychological trauma because of the raid, forcing her family to take her to the hospital. Regardless of the size of the psychological and physical damage, the victims and those affected cannot get justice from the Official Institutions in Saudi Arabia (this includes the judiciary, public prosecutors, or even simply receiving a serious response from the official human rights institutions).The media in Saudi Arabia does not mention these violations; even if they mention such raids, they would be selective and falsify the information because of bias and would not mention the violations committed by the security forces.

The Saudi Government officially announced a list of nine wanted men on October 30, 2016. In a statement issued by the Security Spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, he claimed that they were accused of “targeted citizens, residents, and security forces, and sabotaging of public utilities, security and economic installations ,and the disrupting of public life.”

The Saudi Judicial System lacks the basic trial procedures that can reinforce confidence in its hearing such as independence and clear regulations and laws. Many of the flaws in the system regulations have led to a number of wanted men to not respond to their warrants regardless if the charges pressed were based on the person’s use of freedom of expression and opinion or criminal charges. There for, some individuals did not turn themselves in and remain in hiding, while others flee out of the country.

The Saudi Government has used torture to extract confessions, as well as the judicial adoption (monitored by the organization) based only on the confessions that were extracted under torture and coercion. Based on the adopted confessions (described above), the government can enforce the execution sentences, even if the charges were classified as minor crimes. Complaints and torture submitted by victims were disregarded by the judges and often they move forward in finalizing and enforcing the sentences. Some legal analysis also showed a lack of justice in the issued judgments. The ESOHR has counted 80death sentence demands from the Public Prosecutor in the period of 2013 to November 2016; these demands are in regards to the cases of demonstrations and events that took place in the province of Qatif, as well as a group of prisoners accused of spying for Iran.

The results were as follows:

Number Condition
4 Already executed
5 Final judgment of the death sentence, and the sentence might be carried out any time
18 Death sentence as an initial judgment and they are waiting for appeal
2 Death sentence as an initial judgment and then revoked by appeal- final judgment is still unknown
4 Prison sentence but the public persecutor still demands the death penalty;the defendants are waiting for appeal
22 Prison sentence after many juridical level hearings with different sentences
25 The trails are still ongoing. No judgments issued yet
80 Total

ESOHR collaborated with the Reprieve Organization and an international legal organization to complete an analysis regarding the execution of Ali Alrebh, who had been charged with participating in the demonstrations and and other charges despite that he was a minor at the time of charges. Also, the death penalty carried out in the case of Mohammad AlShiyouk, who was accused of many charges including participating in demonstrations . Neither of them had been charged with killing, injuring, or wounding anyone. The investigation (analysis) of the cases was carried out and supervised by international legal experts, and concluded that the carried executions were not only unjust and flawed but also violated international laws that Saudi Arabia agreed to follow.

Attorney Dr. Hassan Alamri commented on this: “Unfortunately the [people’s] trust in the Saudi Judicial System is missing [does not exist]because of the control of the Ministry of the Interior in the Investigation and Prosecution Institution even though it is a quasi-judicial institution. Also, the Ministry of the Interior controls the Specialized Criminal Court, which also lacks independence, and the prosecutors target the opponents of authority of the State Institutions, which are supposed to be independent authorities. [The State Institutions] should establish the principle of separation of powers so as not to become a tyranny with executive power. All this causes a lose in the confidence of these institutions by the citizens, especially those who feel dispersed because of sectarianism and treated by the authorities(like what is happening in the Eastern Region in particular).”

ESOHR states that Saudi Arabia has the right to take measures relating to Internal Security in legal frameworks and free from violations that may lead to violent reactions and exacerbate the problems. Also, the victims of the excessive use of force on civilians including demonstrators and wanted individuals carried out by Saudi forces between 2011 and 2016 was not followed by any investigations or accountability, and clearly showed the practice of impunity for the Internal Security Forces.

Also, Some of the killings cases that claimed the lives of members of the Security Forces officers did not have transparent procedures, either through investigations or trials. Instead ,the Saudi Government launched the charges through the official media before any investigation with a clear accused person(s).

The government violations, impunity, and passing judgments (accusations) through their control of the press does not help in achieving security; it produces counterproductive results.

The launch of the charges through the media appears before any proper investigation of the accused or any convictions made from trials and therefore leads to the action that would undermined a fair trial. In addition to the use of torture, and executions for minor charges , the misuse of the media leads to a loss of confidence in the Saudi Judicial System.

ESOHR has expressed its concern for the safety of civilians, especially with the news coming in by local citizens that the military is continuously sending more armed vehicles to some security centres in the province of Qatif; they continue their raids in residential neighborhoods and in school areas.


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