Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Kingdom of Horrors

"Human Rights Watch conducted research missions to Saudi Arabia in November and December 2006, and again in May 2007. We found pervasive injustices in the Saudi criminal justice system and systematic and multiple violations of defendants' rights. Individuals in Saudi Arabia may find themselves detained and arrested for behavior that is not inherently criminal, or for apparently (and unwittingly) offending vague legal prohibitions. They may then find themselves in solitary confinement and subject to forms of ill-treatment. The authorities often do not inform individuals of the crime of which they are accused, or the evidence supporting the accusation. An accused person typically does not have access to a lawyer, faces abuse when refusing to incriminate him or herself, and waits excessive periods of time before trial, where he or she is often unable to examine witnesses or evidence and present a legal defense, not least because of a presumption of guilt and shifting charges." (thanks Nadim)