Referring to the large number of arbitrarily detained prisoners, the letter continues: "(...) and the number become so large, that it is now hard to find a home that does not have a relative in detention. The total number of detainees is nearly 30,000. Those imprisoned do not know when they will be out, as they are often not given any trials or sentences, and if they are tried and sentenced, then they are not released when the sentence expires. This is the situation of most political prisoners".
These wives, daughters and sisters of political prisoners then referred to the methods that the authorities use during the arrests: "The worst thing is that the method of arrest is usually by kidnapping the person without any prior warning to him or his family. Indeed, if a good religious person disappears in Saudi Arabia, the chances are that he has been detained".
"If a person happens to be at home, then other means of terror are used by the security forces. The home may be surrounded by agents or even by armoured vehicles, depending on the importance of the victim. The door is knocked down late at night, and a large number of soldiers, and armed civilians enter the house and search it. They search the women, steal property and money, and turn the house upside down. They may tear down the furniture, terrorise children, and handcuff and blindfold the detainee in front of his parents, his wife and his children. They have no respect for the sanctity of a Muslim's home".
Regarding the issues of torture, prison conditions and the prisoners suffering from diseases: "Once a person enters a prison, there will be no news of him, and his family will know nothing about him for months and sometimes for even a year or more. He will be tortured in order to confess to things that he has never done. The torture includes beatings with sticks, demeaning comments, other verbal abuse, and even sexual threats, starvation, sleep deprivation and other deviant methods. Yes, by God, all of this is happening in this sacred land that is the cradle of the prophet and his message. The prisoner, whether he confesses or not, or whether he is tried or not, is not to be counted amongst the living nor the dead, and will be placed in a cell far away from the outside world, where he will be unable to tell night from day. If this prisoner were then to get sick, then his suffering will multiply, as he will not receive treatment except after he writes letters of appeal, and after his families writes many telegrams and appeals for their imprisoned relative to be treated. Despite this, the treatment may still not be provided, so that many prisoners continue to suffer from dangerous diseases in their kidneys, heart or liver, or have various types of blood diseases and cancers. Sometimes the only medicines given are tranquillisers, and even that is often given as a favour."
The letter also highlights the issue of the detention of women in Saudi prisons: "The gravest insult, which is truly unbelievable, is that many women of this sacred land are also in prison and are treated in the same way as the men. The authorities no longer avoid detaining good and faithful women of this land simply for standing up and speaking out against this scourge: the detention of their husbands, sons and fathers. These women are held in miserable cells, and cameras are directed at them day and night, so that a women is forced to wear her veil whether she is awake or sleeping, and she is held for such a long time that her children grow up without her, which is a disaster, or are sometimes imprisoned with her, which is a bigger disaster. She is interrogated in the middle of the night, alone without a guardian, and by the most foul and irreligious of interrogators, so that her honour is threatened, and her dignity is insulted."
The letter talks about the development of the women's struggle for their cause: "We have endured and endured until our bodies became sick with the anger and bitterness of our pain and humiliation. When we started to knock on the doors that they claimed were open, we found them closed and barricaded by a thousand obstacles and guards. When we started to mobilise peacefully in gatherings in demand of our rights, we were met by imprisonments and beatings. We are women, and we were arrested, degraded, detained in prison, and interrogated without our guardians. May God help us."
"Then came the events of al-Hayer prison, where some of our detained sons called their families in the late hours of Friday 13 July 2012, appealing for help, saying that the special forces were surrounding the prison, carrying knives and electrical batons, wanting to slaughter them like chicken, and to teach them a lesson, because we dared ask for the treatment of our brother Mohammad Mosleh al-Shahri who has cancer"
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