Estimated 30,000 political prisoners in Saudi Arabia http://www.irna.ir/ENNewsShow.aspx?NID=30595219&SRCH=1
The number of political prisoners in Saudi Arabia is three times more than those detained in the Soviet Union at its height, according to a new report. Quoting insider reports, the Islamic Human Rights Commission said that there was estimated to be “over 30,000” political prisoners in the kingdom out of a population of around 18 million Saudi nationals. “The full magnitude of this shocking number becomes clear when compared to the Soviet Union at its height in the mid 1970s,” IHRC said. In 1975, an Amnesty International report estimated that 10,000 political prisoners were being held in the USSR from a population of approximately 250 million.
“Political imprisonment in Saudi Arabia is an epidemic that has not spared any sector of Saudi society,” IHRC said in the briefing, designed to draw attention to some key case studies during the last two decades. “The government employs the tactic of arbitrary detention without charge or trial, in addition to staging sham trials lacking any semblance of due process, both of which have become hallmarks of Saudi 'justice',” the report said. IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh called on the international community to “break its long silence and to hold Saudi Arabia to account for its actions.”
“This appalling situation in Saudi Arabia is being supported indirectly by the international community that has been turning a blind eye to government repression,” Shadjareh said. “These realities must be addressed, rather than following propagandistic stories about women ‘gaining the right to vote’, when there is no democracy or freedom in the country,” he warned. The briefing described Saudi Arabia as a country in which the ruling al-Saud family “represents the absolute political, cultural and religious authority.” “This absolutist nature of the Saudi state ensures that free speech is stifled and that all forms of political opposition and dissent are harshly suppressed and silenced,” it said.