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Oct 17, 2010
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Kuwaiti Citizen Nasser Al-Hajeri Recounts His Experiences in a Saudi Prison: I Was Held Without Charge and Tortured for Years

#2665 | 05:38
Source: The Internet

Following are excerpts from an interview with Nasser Al-Hajeri, a Kuwaiti national, released from a Saudi prison, which aired on the Internet on October 17, 2010:

Nasser Al-Hajeri: I'd like to make it clear that my purpose in emphasizing my human suffering in the Saudi prisons is to help put an end to the violations, barbarism, and inhumanity that occur there in general, and against the Kuwaitis in particular.

As a Kuwait citizen, I experienced things that I never expected would happen to me in any Muslim country. I believe that even if I had been incarcerated in an Israeli prison, I would not have experienced what I underwent in the Saudi prison. The only thing we asked for was our basic human rights – rights that are respected even by Israel or in Guantanamo.

[...]

Interviewer: How were you arrested, and why?

Nasser Al-Hajeri: I was arrested when I went on a hajj in December 2007. To this day, I don't know why I was arrested. I was not given any trial, and I was not allowed to appoint any attorney. I have no idea what I was accused of.

Interviewer: So why were you imprisoned for all that time? Were you merely being detained?

Nasser Al-Hajeri: Yes, I was a detainee, like all the Kuwaitis there. They don't get a trial, a lawyer, or anything. They throw people into prison merely on a suspicion, and they can stay there for years, without any rights or anything.

Interviewer: Were you convicted of anything in Kuwait?

Nasser Al-Hajeri: No, Allah be praised, I've never been convicted of anything. I am a regular citizen, with no criminal record.

Interviewer: Didn't the Kuwaiti Embassy look into your case? Did they appoint you a lawyer? Did the consul pay you a visit? Did any of these things happen?

Nasser Al-Hajeri: No, none of this happened. On the contrary, when I asked the interrogator to call the embassy, so that they could appoint a lawyer for me and look into my case, he began to laugh and mock me in an unbearable way. Then he said insolently: Even the Bengalis get visits form their embassy, but nobody cares about you.

Interviewer: Why were you released all of a sudden?

Nasser Al-Hajeri: When I was arrested, I suffered torture. They dealt blows to my head, and as a result, I had a tumor. Until the growth turned into malignant cancer I received only simple treatment for the cancer. They detected the cancer around two months ago, after two and a half years. They were afraid of this cancer, and my father began to expert pressure. They began to be afraid, and decided to release me.

Interviewer: What neglect did you suffer from? Is it logical that you did not get treatment?

Nasser Al-Hajeri: It's true. All they gave me were pain killers.

Interviewer: Did they give you your medical records so that you could continue treatment in your country?

Nasser Al-Hajeri: No. In the Saudi prisons, doctors are the rarest thing you will find. You only see a doctor once every four months. Sometimes, even when it's your turn to see some doctor, he will tell you that his equipment is broken. Then the military officer will get you to sign that you have seen the doctor and that he treated you.

Interviewer: How was the torture conducted?

Nasser Al-Hajeri: There were many kinds of torture. One of them was sleep deprivation. They would deprive a person of sleep for four to five days or a week. This is the worst thing for somebody who is undergoing torture. The prisoner prefers to be severely beaten so long as he can sleep a little. In addition, they keep you for a long time in solitary confinement – up to nine months, or even a year. They also employ psychological torture. They put you in a cell next to the cell of people who are being tortured, and you can hear their screams. You cell is two by two meters, and they take advantage of this in their interrogation. They threaten and scare you, to make you confess to things you didn't do. They threaten to lock you up all life long, in a two by two cell, with a toilet at the side.

[...]

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