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    Fake Salafi Refutation
    Torture in the Saudi Prisons

    As Related by a Muslim Prisoner

    The following is the story which was told to us by a youth, a trustworthy veteran of the Afghan war, who was incarcerated at Ar-Ruwais Prison in Jeddah and whom Allah saved.

    Kabul fell, and the fires of fitna and disagreement alit between the various Mujahideen factions.

    We held our hands back from participating in such a diatribe and dark fitna. I went back to the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia) seeking safety and tranquility. I looked for treatment for the amputated leg which I lost during the Afghan Jihad. I stayed in Jeddah. I lived close to the hospital in a small apartment caring about nothing except treating my leg and healing my wounds.

    After the Riyadh bombing (of a U.S. training facility November 1996), I was awakened by strong knocking on my door. I stood on my canes running to open it only to see it knocked down. The knockers burst into the apartment. I thought they were thieves. I yelled at them: "Who are you? What do you want from me?" They were eleven, members of the Mabaheth (Saudi Security). They overcame me, searched my apartment and turned it upside down after they had hand-cuffed me for about two hours. All that time they were searching, they did not leave anything or anywhere but searched, including the pipes in the bathroom. Then, they took whatever they willed of books and tapes and took me with them, tied. The trip took eight months of misery and agony.

    I never thought anyone could find such a treatment of humiliation in the land of the two holy shrines. The car stopped in front of a large building. I knew it was ar-Ruwais Prison where the central Mabaheth of Jeddah is located. We passed a large gate and the car made a tour of the compound as if they wanted to give me a tourist flavor of the courtyard of this complex, which was expanded as of late to be able to service the victims of increasing and continuous security raids.

    Inside the compound, I was hosted by prison guards who did the routine "check-in" procedures from changing clothes to holding my personal belongings. I was taken to a small cell not exceeding 1.5 m in length by 1.0 m of width. I stayed there for 3 months. I was not there for long after my arrival when I was taken to Office No. 1. There I met the interrogator, "Abu Nayef" and who was recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. He was promoted, I believe, for his commitment to humiliating the servants of God and his creative methods in their torture. I discovered later, that the "Abu Nayef" stop was a first-stop, a low-ranking interrogation, but he is committed to doing this 'routine' himself. He then gives the case to a subordinate, following the case himself, or seeking the advice and directives of his boss, the prison director, Zagzoug.

    I stood in front of him, hand-cuffed. Two subordinates were standing next to him. Their faces had no expressions except those of fear and enmity. He asked me: "Were you the one who set up the Riyadh Bomb?" I denied any connection to the bombing. It was the truth - I knew nothing of the bombing except what I read and heard in the media.

    They started beating me savagely. No place in my body but must have received its share of beating and ache during the session. My clothes were all torn. All this and my hands still handcuffed. I was half-naked. Their appetite for torture was opened. Seeing the state I was in, now using whips and tools I have never seen in my life. Hours of beating later they were asking the same question again and again: "Why did you bomb Riyadh?" I could do nothing but deny the charges. I did not do it. I was dizzy and eventually passed out for what they served me. Every time I passed out, they would throw water at me to wake me. I could no longer stand, I fell on the floor. Had it not been the case that they were bored and exhausted of torturing this soul they would have finished me that day. They ordered guards to take me to the cell. Two guards threw me there. I was like a dead corpse. I could no longer move.

    They took me the next day again for interrogation. They asked me the same question again and again. Each time I denied, they whipped me. They improved their torture methods this time. I was tied by the arms to the back hanging from a metal bar like a feast's beast ready for roasting. The interrogation is now a special torture scene. They hit me with whips and sticks all over. Sometimes they did it all as one group. Sometimes they took turns. They were making Jihad in the way of Sultan and competing as to who will skin me first. It was all licit in their eyes. I could not stand to any of their plots. I was hanging in the air. My head was in suspension too. Earth was turning. My soul was about to come out seeking the help of its Creator against these beasts.

    I was in a better shape than other prisoners. Some had no clothing left during the torture or "roasting" feasts. They were fondling with his private parts and inserting in his rectum whatever they willed.

    All of this and they were laughing as if they were feasting on a camp fire.

    The second day I was taken to my cell. I was in a worst state than during the party of the previous day. The feasts and parties continued later on until the "Abu Nayef" was tired. He took me to his boss Zagzoug. He had a worse tongue, and a Kufri speech. He cursed Shariah, Deen and its people. He cursed the Scholars and the righteous ones. I remember how he dealt with Deen and how he described Shar` (Islamic law), with the worst of words, which, by Allah, hurt me more than what came upon me in my physique of torture. I felt helpless to champion God in a time he likes my championship. He was, with all this, threatening to rape me.

    After the interrogators felt that I was a helpless case, for I had no connection to the Riyadh bombing, they started to force me to confess that I was of the people of Takfir, those who not only say that our leaders are disbelievers, but thwho go to the point of claiming that Ulema and society as a whole is in a state of disbelief. They wanted to force me to confess to having targeted with armed action some specific civilian targets.

    I knew later when I was taken to the collective cell that all the youth that were under incarceration were forced to confess to Takfir and armed action. This is with respect to Saudi citizens. As to non-Saudis they were asked to confess to one of two things: either they worked for the intelligence services of their home countries or supporting armed struggle back home. Anyone who thought that either option would save him of torture was fooled.

    I realised after having been moved to the collective cell that the number of prisoners of conscience was overwhelming. It is as if any youth who displayed some degree of religiosity was incarcerated at ar-Ruwais prison. I discovered that for some youth, their wives were also incarcerated. They were being interrogated by savage beasts. I was filled with rage and helplessness. These interrogators have no moral or ethical standards to entice them not to target these ladies. I could only seek God's help to protect and save them. Some prisoners told me they were threatened to bring their womenfolk to rape if they did not confess. I discovered also that several prisoners were gathered in one room, naked, all tortured as the others watched to further humiliate and degrade them. I also came to know that the Gehenna to which I was exposed was nothing compared to what others have seen.

    There were those who saw their toe and finger nails removed. There were those who were deprived of sleep for consecutive days. I still remember the sight of a prisoner who was forbidden sleep for 9 days. They whipped him everytime he sat or tried to sleep. His torturers were taking roles to make sure he does not sleep. They were on a "Jihadist" crusade to forbid him from sleeping lest the country will be lost!! The poor man lost his nerve and started to hysteric cry he still suffers from.

    In the collective cell, I saw and heard what no one could ever believe. In the concentration camp I saw a group of Mujahideen; those no one in Arabia could point at except by way of honour and respect for their dedication and courage in the way of God. I saw the famed Hassan al-Srihi (of the 'Lion's Den' Operation in Afghanistan) who was brought from Pakistan and delivered to the Regime. He was exposed to the worst of torture by the Sultan's Servants to confess to the Riyadh Bombing. Despite the fact that no connection has been established as to his association with the bombing, whether close or far, he is still in prison. No one championed him in the outside world, nor did the authorities do justice to him.

    I knew from my stay there that Palestinian Professor Muhammad Yusuf Abbas who was Shaikh Abdallah Azzam's caliph at Maktab Khadamat al-Mujahideen was there.

    Abu Abdelaziz 'Barbaros', the man who was at the forefront of Jihad in Bosnia, who is now almost fifty years old, who sacrificed much in performing the duty of Jihad in Allah's sake, was also there.

    I knew from my stay that there was a special cell called: "The Trouble-Makers' Cell" prepared especially for those who do not cooperate with the interrogators. The cell is situated outside the main building at Ar-Ruwais Complex in the burning sun. It had a bath which did not have an exit. Therefore all excrements remained on the spot bringing in insects and the worst of odors. This is for those that pass by it, what about those who live in it? This reminds me of another problem from which we all suffer. That of bathrooms. The ratio of restrooms to prisoners is small. We had to stand in line to relieve ourselves. We got accustomed to relieving ourselves at the collective cell.

    This is what I heard of eye witnesses and what I saw of physical and emotional scars in me that still haunt me. Even after having been moved to the collective cell. I was not spared the torture scenes. Each of us was taken twice a week at least to the "roasting" feasts. During each torture session the interrogators create new stories, new allegations, from running a weapons' smuggling ring, to armed operations to connections with 'x' or 'y' to Takfir.

    Despite all this, the plots of torturers and servants of the Sultan and their hopes are doomed to failure. It is through trial and through sufferance that God's victory comes about and His Powers are displayed. It is in these times that the sublime Sakinah and tranquility despite adversity comes. It is through this that we get assurance that God's Promise will be fulfilled and His Will shall come to pass as decreed. I never heard anyone regret one day he spent in Jihad, or consider Jihad as being the source of the hurt they were subject to at the hands of those who do not fear Allah. Some have displayed the best of examples of resistance and strength. Hassan al-Srihi was the talk of everyone: how under torture he kept on reading Qur'an and making Zikr. He stayed in such a state until the torture ended.

    I felt reassured after I saw him. After all that I saw, the confessions people saw on T.V, or those that were publicised in the printed media were nothing but coerced confessions and the work of interrogators who force their victims to sign whatever they write. If you see those subject to such dehumanising conditions there is no way one can believe what the authorities claim.

    I ask The Almighty, in all His Powers, to remove this adversity imposed on the people of the land of the Haramayn, for it is now a prison for any one seeking reform, or supporting the law of Shar`, when once, this land was a place of refuge for those oppressed. I ask him to give victory to Muslims in general, and the people of the Peninsula in particular, to give them victory over those who wronged them and to consider what we have been subject to, me and my brethren, as bounties in our favor on the day we meet Him. Amen.

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    The Holy Quran Quotes

    “Incline not unto those who do wrong, or the fires of Hell will touch you. You have no protector save Allah, and you will not be helped”

    (Huud, 11:113)


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