Saudi Arabia: Torture of imprisoned human rights defender Mukhlif Al Shammari
Rasid - « Front Line » - 6 / 8 / 2011 - 2:44 am
Mekhlef bin Daham al Shammary
Mekhlef bin Daham al Shammary

On 27 July 2011 human rights defender Mr Mukhlif Al Shammari was severely beaten until he lost consciousness. Whilst unconscious soldiers at the Al Damman General Prison forced a bottle of Dettol disinfectant down his throat.

Further Information

Mukhlif Al Shammari is a prominent pro-democracy and pro-reform human rights defender and journalist who was imprisoned in June 2010, charged with “annoying others” with his writings. See: path:../node/14951| See previous Front Line Appeal.

On 27 July 2011, at approximately 3.00pm, Mukhlif Al Shammari was informed by soldiers that he was to be transferred from his prison cell at the Al Dammam General Prison, to a nearby hospital where he was to undergo a series of medical tests. Mukhlif Al Shammari was removed from his cell and held in the prison waiting room but was not transferred to a hospital.

After some time, Mukhlif Al Shammari was approached by Lieutenant Majeed Asmari, who was accompanied by seven soldiers. Lieutenant Majeed Asmari began shouting “dog” at Mukhlif Al Shammari and ordered the soldiers to place handcuffs on his wrists and shackles on his feet in order to restrict his movements. The soldiers then dragged Mukhlif Al Shammari away to the CCTV control room in order to avoid being recorded on camera, and Lieutenant Majeed Asmari ordered that they close the control room door.

Once inside the control room, Mukhlif Al Shammari was severely beaten by both Lieutenant Majeed Asmari and the soldiers, to the point that he fainted and lost consciousness. Shortly thereafter, Mukhlif Al Shammari regained consciousness and noticed a burning sensation in his mouth and throat. When Mukhlif Al Shammari opened his eyes he noticed that Lieutenant Majeed Asmari was sitting on his chest pouring a bottle of Dettol down his throat and shouting “You dirty, die, and I will say you committed suicide”.

Mukhlif Al Shammari's condition deteriorated rapidly following the beating and the swallowing of Dettol, and at approximately 5.00pm, he was transferred by the soldiers, one of whom was called Al Harby, to the Dammam Medical Centre. The soldiers informed medical staff at the hospital that Mukhlif Al Shammari had attempted to take his own life, however, upon hearing this, Mukhlif Al Shammari began shouting, in the presence of medical staff and patients, that the soldiers had in fact tried to kill him. In order to silence Mukhlif Al Shammari, soldiers removed him from his hospital bed, transported him back to prison and placed him in solitary confinement.

Since 27 July 2011, Mukhlif Al Shammari's family have raised the case with the Emirate of the Eastern Region, as well as the prison administration however, to date, they have been unable to establish Mukhlif Al Shammari's current condition.

Front Line is gravely concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of human rights defender Mukhlif Al Shammari. Front Line believes that the charges against, and the detention of Mukhlif Al Shammari, as well as the aforementioned attack perpetrated against him, is directly linked to his legitimate work as a human rights defender.

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