Abu Layth: “If I did not ‘confess’, then he would do to me as the Americans did with the Muslims in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.”

04 Feb

Exclusive testimony of ‘Abu Layth‘ from the CagePrisoners Saudi Torture Project.


My name is Abu Layth[1]. I was captured by the Saudi [authorities] in Madinah where I used to study in 2006.  Among the people who came to capture me were government interrogators, one of them is the individual in the picture provided, his name is Yusuf al-Barakaty.


I was detained arbitrarily without being shown any form of evidence or official document. They were armed and wearing army/police uniform.

During the interrogation I was tortured and degraded and I had to admit to something I didn’t do. I was interrogated by a lot of the officials and I will mention their names which are:

1.      Bandar al-Hazamy who was known as Abu Khaled
2.      Yusuf al-Barakaty who was known as Abu Mansoor
3.      Bakr Ghareeb al-‘Awfi known as Abu Yasir
4.      Ghazi al-Husayn al-‘Awfi
5.      Fahed al-Ahmady

The names of these officials were not known in fact they were hidden in order to protect their identity but I found out their names through non-official sources. Yusuf [al-Barakaty] was known for his extreme ways of torturing detainees and degrading them and he partook in torturing me during the interrogation.


The interrogation went on until the night as well as the day while my hands were handcuffed and legs were tied in different room in the building, 4th floor, in the interrogation building and they used different instruments to torture me with:

1.      A thick electric cord that looks like the wires used in computers. It was grey…..and it was 60cm long. I was hit a number of times on my whole body.

2.      A straight wooden stick which was around 35cm long and its thickness was around 2-2.5cm and he would raise it 3-4cm high before hitting me on my fingertips

3.      The traditional Saudi rope used for clothing….the official used that as a whip and hit me with it a number of times.

I was forbidden to sleep the whole night until the morning and they threatened me with capturing my brothers and father. The officials used different ways to force me to confess…

One of the ways was through mental torture as well as physical torture as I mentioned. I was threatened with an electric cord and would not release me which would be followed by handing me to someone who will take my fingernails off as well as other things. Yusuf was involved with the other officials in torturing me, even though he was not my official interrogator, he was hurting me for ‘leisure’ purposes. He threatened me with punishment and ruined my dignity with his abusive language and among the things he said to me, was that if I did not ‘admit’ then he would do to me as the Americans did with the Muslims in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.  Yusuf tortured me physically without using any particular instrument.

I certify that the person in the picture is Yusuf [al-Barakaty] without a doubt and he is involved in the crime of torturing me physically and mentally as well as many other officials.

It is hard for me to write this testimony and remember what happened to me in those dark days. I have only written this in order to plead to whoever is reading this testimony to seek out and hold those responsible to what happened or to report this to someone who can do that. This is a trusted document and I won’t forgive whoever was able to help and didn’t help.

[1]The name of the survivor has been changed to protect his identity
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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Biographies, Campaigns


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