Saudi Arabia releases over 1,500 detainees due to lack of evidence

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Saudi Arabia has released more than 1,500 detainees throughout the country due to the lack of substantial legal grounds for their arrest and detainment, local media has reported.

The kingdom’s Public Prosecution made the decision to release those detainees, in all provinces, in efforts to enforce measures throughout its justice system and show that it acts in accordance with the standards set in the country’s Criminal Procedure Law.

According to the Saudi Gazette, the Public Prosecution has also set out to ensure that detainees’ individual rights are being cared for and fulfilled, and that the legality and validity of their detentions are constantly checked.

READ: 16,000 African migrants detained under ‘hellish’ condition in a single Saudi detention centre

As part of those measures, officials from the prosecution reportedly visit prisons and detention centres at any random time in order to ensure that no prisoner is detained illegally, detainees’ complaints are listened to, and that the correct legal procedures are undertaken.

Despite the reports of the 1,500 detainees’ release and the upkeep of prisoner rights, it is suspected by many that those detainees were suspects of menial and common crimes, while political detainees and “prisoners of conscience” are not among them.

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Political prisoners are reported to have undergone abuse and torture at the hands of Saudi authorities and prison guards. They include activists, journalists, Islamic scholars and even members of the Saudi royal family who have been detained over the past five years due to the threat they allegedly pose to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s power.

In March, Saudi authorities also released hundreds of prisoners over fears of the rising coronavirus pandemic and the effects it would have within the prison system.

READ: Jailed Saudi women activists ‘tortured’, forced to carry out ‘sex acts’, claims new report

Middle East Monitor

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