Chairwoman Hautala sent today a letter to the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Mr Abdallah Y. Al Mouallimi, expressing her concerns over the case of Dr Saud al-Hashimi, who is alleged to have been subjected to torture in the Dhahban prison in Saudi Arabia. [:]
18 January 2011
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
45 Avenue F .D .Roosevelt
Excellency Mr Abdallah Y. Al Mouallimi,
Having welcomed you on 17th of March, I wish to return to our human rights discourse. I very much appreciated the opportunity to discuss specific cases with you and so would wish to raise another one to your attention.
I have received reports over the case of Dr Saud al-Hashimi, who is alleged to have been subjected to torture and forced to sign a confession and waiver of wanting to have a lawyer, in the Dhahban prison in Saudi Arabia. I understand from the report that he would have been held shackled in a cold room until he agreed to sign these declarations and that prior to this, he was allegedly given electric shocks. Furthermore, there are reports that he voiced these concerns in a court session on 1st of January but that these had been dismissed by the judge presiding over the case. Any statements signed under duress or torture, I am sure you would agree cannot, of course, be used as evidence against Mr al-Hashimi under the UN Convention against Torture, to which Saudi Arabia is a party.
I am most concerned over the reports that he would be now suffering of medical problems and that access to health care is not guaranteed.
According to the reports I have received he was detained, amongst other things, for making contact with the Al Jazeera media proadcaster and critizising the Saudi Arabian authorities. I must, however, note that to me this would seem like a perfectly normal activity in line with peaceful exercise of anyone’s right to freedom of expression and assembly.
Due to these noted concerns, I remain very worried about his situation and would greatly appreciate information you could provide at this time.
I look forward to hearing from you at first opportunity.
Chairwoman of European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights