Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

“I’m trying to write a poem for you.”

Shaikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al KhalifaAbdullah Al NoaimiThis is a poem I have written about my brother and friend Salman al Khalifa at the Guantanamo prison, after a long separation between us. The Americans were keen on keeping us apart. Four months later, he sent verbal greetings with the brothers, in which he said,

May peace, God’s Mercy and Blessings be upon you. I miss you a great deal and I’m trying to write a poem for you.

I felt guilty about this. Will he write a poem for me when he is no poet, while I, who claim to be a poet, have written nothing for him?” Abdullah Al Noaimi (ISN 159, Bahrain) Released November 2005; Rearrested 2008


Three years after his return from Guantánamo, al-Noaimi was working as an electrician, and was married with two children, but on October 29, 2008, as he made his way along the King Fahad Causeway, which joins Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, he was seized at a Saudi checkpoint and appears to have been detained ever since. An article in Gulf Daily News stated that it was “understood his name was included on a list of nearly 1,000 Al-Qaida suspects accused of carrying out ‘acts of war’ against Saudi Arabia,” but, as Nabeel Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), explained, al-Noaimi (described as al-Nuaimi) “had not been allowed to hire a lawyer or see any of his family,” and “had no idea of the charges against him, violating numerous articles in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

He said, “While we fully respect and appreciate our brothers in Saudi Arabia, we do not accept any of our citizens to be arrested in this arbitrary manner, which violates the simplest international norms. Today, there are international standards and charters that should be respected as part of every country’s role in the international community.”

No explanation appears to have been provided by the Saudi authorities. 16 April, 2013 members of the Bahraini parliament protested by walking out of session and complaining that the Foreign Affairs Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa and the Bahraini governemnt had not done enough to demand the realease of Abdullah Al Noaimi and fellow Bahraini and former Guantanamo detainee, Abdulraheem Ali Al Murbati.

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Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Campaigns, Flashback


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Abu Khalid: “The stick broke on my back and while he did that, he screamed and beat me further.”

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


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious and Most Merciful.

Peace and blessings of Allah be upon you. My name is Abu Khalid. I was residing in Saudi Arabia and I was arrested in 2007.


The arrest was a treachery against me, but I can’t explain it in detail here. After I was arrested I was put in a cell (a small solitary room) for three months and 18 days, I was all-alone, deprived of everything except food, I was badly ill-treated.

On the first day they put me in the cell around 2pm and gave me the prison uniform. They kept me sitting there and prevented me from watching TV, reading books, magazines and newspapers. They were calling my family and talking with any person who answered.

Around 8pm they took me in for interrogation; they put me on a chair in another room and in front of me there was a desk that had nothing on it. The interrogator came -whose name was Ghazi al-Sa’idi and Allah knows best – I was blindfolded, my hands were cuffed and my legs were chained.

He said, “Are you guilty?” I asked what my guilt was, he said, “Admit everything.” I replied, “What to admit?” He said “You must cooperate with us and tell us everything so we can help you and get you out of prison.”

I asked what do I have to cooperate for and what to admit? He didn’t reply and ordered the guard to take me back to the cell. While the soldier was driving me he said “You better think about it well and admit otherwise you shall see what you can’t bear”.  I returned to my cell and kept thinking what do they want from me? Why did they arrest me? What have I done? But I had no answers for these questions.

The next day in interrogation they said, “Have you thought of admitting?” I asked what do I have to admit? He said, “You want to go to Iraq for jihad.”

I said – disapproving of what he said – I don’t want to go to Iraq for jihad, I know nothing in Iraq and I know no one in Iraq, how can I go there?

He retorted, “Go back to your cell and tomorrow you will tell us in detail how you wanted to go to Iraq otherwise you shall taste torture and beating.” The soldier took me back to the cell.


The next day they brought me and that person in the photo provided (Yusuf al-Barakaty) received me, he asked, taunting me, “Why did you want to go to Iraq?” I told him I didn’t want to go to Iraq. He asked me about some people, when he asked me that question I was sitting on the chair in front of the desk and he was sitting on the other side of the desk and when I said, “I don’t know”, he slapped me on my face so hard that I wished to die than see such a slap.

He beat me, “You donkey, you dog! You don’t want to admit, you want to misguide justice.” He called the guard and ordered him to tie my hands to a metal ring in the ceiling, that was nearly at 10am, I was standing like that till 10 pm and that was the order of Yusuf al-Barakaty. Honestly they only untied me at prayers and meals times, and that lasted for 14 days. He ordered that I remain in the cell until I admit to the allegations.

By the way, those who interrogated me were three, Yusuf al-Barakaty, Ghazi al-Sa’idi and the third -Allah knows best – was Bandar al-Hazmi. Of the three, those who beat me were Yusuf al-Barakaty and Ghazi al-Sa’idi.

What happened to me on the hands of those two (Yusuf al-Barakaty and Ghazi al-Sa’idi) is:

First: they ordered that I stay in the cell for over 3 months, they prevented me from talking to anyone even the guards, they deprived me of all means of communication including TV, newspapers and calling my family or lawyer.

Second: they ordered the guard – everyday for nearly two weeks – to take me to the interrogation room (where torture took place) and hang me from the ceiling from 10am to 10pm.

Third: they took turns beating me, one of them would come and lay me on the floor on my stomach and beat me with a hard plastic hose on my back, nape and legs and I would scream and ask him to have mercy on me and ask Allah to rescue me from him, but he had no mercy or pity on me; he did that three times or more per day.

When he beat me, my legs were shackled and due to the severity of beating on my legs and the shackles that bound me, blood was pouring from my legs, and when I return to my cell, I found my back bleeding and full of ulcerations.

He used to beat me with a plastic hose and stick, the stick broke on my back and while he did that, he screamed and beat me further.

Yusuf al-Barakaty specialised in slapping my face and hitting me on my thighs so hard, I begged him not to beat me and to have mercy on me but he didn’t care, he only beat harder.

Fourth: I always asked him to take me out of this cell because I was tired psychologically, I didn’t taste sleep because light was directed at my eyes 24 hours per day.

I thought a lot until I finally got psychologically ill with obsessive compulsive disorder, I tried to commit suicide many times but failed, and when they discovered the suicide attempts through the camera – they monitored me using cameras all day long – they tied me and beat me.

Fifth: Yusuf al-Barakaty used to threaten me and say, “I will take your nails off…I will iron your arms and legs”, and he threatened me with the electric shock stick and say, “You haven’t tasted this yet.”

Sixth: he always tried to destroy me psychologically, he used to say, “you will remain in prison for the rest of your life…you deserve to die…you are a danger to society…we will put you on trial and give you a death sentence”, I would return to my room and cry for hours, I would scream from the psychological pain that these words caused me.

I stayed in the Saudi investigation prison for 5 years. By Allah I was not put on trial nor stood in front of a judge, it was just the brutal interrogators and I was released after all those years without trial and they have not compensated me for the losses I suffered.

I ask the human rights community around the world to help me get my rights back, receive compensation for that period I spent unjustly and try all those who caused me harm, beat me, tortured me and kept me behind bars for such a long period of time. Finally to try that person in the photo, Yusuf al-Barakaty – and anyone who participated in that – for what he did of beating, torturing and imprisoning me.


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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Biographies, Campaigns


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Abu Yasin: ‘“I put that [track suit] on to make it easier for me to beat you”’

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


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious and Most Merciful.

My name is Abu Yasin. I lived in Saudi Arabia in Madinah having valid official papers; I was arrested by Saudi Authorities in 2006.


People in four vehicles came to arrest me, they were all dressed unofficially, I didn’t know they were from the security service.

During my arrest I asked to see their identities – according to the norms – they said ‘later’, nobody told me why I was arrested or showed me his identity, I remember seeing some of them later in the interrogations.

While they were transferring me to the interrogation center I asked one of the soldiers what they wanted from me, he said, “We have some questions to ask you and you will return (home) after half an hour”, I didn’t know that I will stay with them for months and that this was the beginning of my suffering and deprivation of freedom and rights.

They threw me in a solitary cell, I was deprived of my simplest rights. They started interrogating me after leaving me there for 2 days, I was thinking of the reason of my arrest, I was not allowed to talk to prisoners in other cells.

When I asked them to allow me to call my family – who didn’t know what happened to me – the soldiers said,“You’re not allowed to make calls unless the interrogator permits”, and he never permitted that during all my imprisonment period.

Two days after being arrested without charge, I was taken to the interrogation block, blindfolded, my hands and feet were shackled. Five interrogators came in, I knew that from their voices, after some time they all left except one who removed the blindfolds and I saw him, he is the same person in the photo provided, I am not sure of his name because he didn’t introduce himself to me. Later on I learned that the names of interrogators are hidden from the prisoners in order to protect them from attributing crimes to them so they won’t be judged.

Since I and my fellow inmates – who were with me after 2 months of solitary confinement – didn’t know his name, we used to call him ‘the monkey’ due to the similarity between the two. That so called monkey was my main interrogator, others interrogated me too, one of them was the one who searched my house during the arrest, and others who were probably four, I didn’t know their names but I knew they were interrogators because other prisoners described them as such.


When I was shown the printed photo above I knew instantly and without thinking that this was my interrogator, and I bear witness that this person has tortured me a lot during interrogations.

Interrogations lasted more than 2 months, there was no particular time for it, sometimes at day sometimes at night, I was physically and psychologically tortured and here I mention some of what I have suffered:

1)     The person in the photo slapped me with his hand so hard on many occasions.

2)     The person in the photo used to kick me on my body so hard, I remember he came one day wearing a training suit and said, “I put that one to make it easier for me to beat you”, he normally wore the Saudi clothes (thawb).

3)     The person in the photo used to beat me with a thick gray electric wire that was less than 1 metre in length, that wire is well known and it is used to deliver electricity to houses, he used to beat me with that wire while my hands and feet were shackled and sometimes my hands were tied to a high place that I cannot move. He beat me on my back while my hands were tied behind my back and my feet were also tied, he lashed me with all his power, he beat me so hard. That severe beating and lashing left marks on my hands and they became swollen, those marks would last for a whole month, I asked for a doctor due to the severity of pain and swelling of my hands, but nobody answered.

4)     The interrogator mentioned above once threw a pen at my face and it was about to hit my eye and pierce it.

5)     That interrogator in the photo used to make terrible threats to me such as: I will never get out of prison and I shall remain under torture forever. He brought other interrogators while he beat me and they threatened me saying, “you will stay in prison till your hair turns white…you won’t see your family till you die” and once one of the interrogators other than the one in the photo above threatened me that they will send me to Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba. The interrogator in the photo above used to threaten me of using electric shocks and other things that I don’t remember.

6)     That interrogator in the photo used to order soldiers to bring me to the interrogation room late at night, and I remained in that room waiting on my nerves for the interrogator to come and torture me at any time, after long hours the soldier comes and takes me back to my cell, that was a way of psychological torture, the effects of that psychological torture lasted for a long time even after I was released, and till now I feel afraid and unsafe even if I am among my family.

7)     The living conditions in the prison were so hard, I didn’t have any clothes other than the ones I was wearing when I was arrested, I was not given any personal hygiene products for a month I couldn’t wash except after a month of my arrest, I was not given a pillow to sleep on, I used to put my head on my shoes so I could sleep, whenever I wanted to go to the bathroom to ease myself the soldier came late and I was not let in except after a long time, such things were the orders of the interrogators, no soldier can override the orders of the interrogators. I was deprived from making calls although I had requested that many times during my imprisonment period.

I remained in the prison for five months, I was not put on trial, I was not able to hire a lawyer, I was innocent and they offended me by taking away my freedom and torturing me.

In the end I wish that whoever reads this testimony strives for taking oppression off the oppressed ones in the Saudi interrogation prisons, pleads for them and helps put that interrogator mentioned above and anyone who offended me and other prisoners on trial.


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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Biographies, Campaigns


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Abu Umar: “He enjoyed hearing my screams”

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


Praise be to Allah and peace and blessings be on the Messenger Muhammad.

My name is Abu Umar. I was resident in Saudi Arabia lawfully and did not contravene any law of the country. I was arrested in the Prophet’s city Madinah by the Mabahith Security Service of Saudi Arabia in 2007 without reason.


I was arrested arbitrarily, through deception. I was arrested without being shown the identity of those arresting me and without being shown an arrest warrant. As soon as I was arrested I asked to be allowed to appoint a lawyer but they did not allow me to do that. On being detained I was placed in an old solitary confinement cell similar to a dungeon. I spent a few weeks there before being moved to another solitary confinement cell that was located beneath the ground. I remained in these isolation cells for approximately four months. I was not provided with even my basic rights; sanitary necessities, enough clothes and neither had I seen the sunshine during this period.

During my time in solitary confinement I was being interrogated day and night and tortured in various ways.

I was interrogated during this period by of four interrogators. I came to know their names later. There are other interrogators the names of whom I do not know:

1. Lt. Yusuf al-Barakaty
2. Lt. Bandar al-Hazmi
3. Captain Ghazi al-Husseini al-‘Awfi
4. Major Bakr al-‘Awfi

Note that Yusuf al-Barakaty is the individual pictured at the head of this statement. I am able to confirm that he is the interrogator I refer to Yusuf al-Barakaty.

During the interrogation sessions which lasted for more than 5 years I was exposed to various kinds of physical and psychological torture, especially during the first four months of my detention. I am able to confirm the names of two interrogators who in particular participated in torturing me physically; Yusuf al-Barakaty and Ghazi al-‘Awfi. There were others on whose hands I was tortured, but I do not know their names.

I will mention below what interrogators did with me;

What (Ghazi al-Husseini al-‘Awfi) did:

First: He left me without sufficient clothes. Clothing is provided on orders of the interrogator in charge of the case Ghazi al-‘Awfi was primarily responsible for interrogating me and it was he who ordered that I should be deprived of clothing and he in doing this robbed me of the simplest of my rights. This continued for a period of four months. I did not have enough clothes and was left in this condition throughout the severely cold winter months.

Second: Summoning for interrogation at random times at deliberately irregular intervals to cause mental and physical fatigue. At times I was taken from my sleep for interrogation in the middle of the night.

Third: The interrogator Ghazi al-‘Awfi ordered the military guards to stand me against the wall while I was blindfolded, handcuffed and bound in leg irons, for long periods of time; up to six consecutive hours. He was threatening to beat me severely if I tried to sit or move from where I was or did not follow his orders. My feet were swollen from periods of forced standing.

Fourth: he hung me by my hands with a chain fixed to a high place such that only the toes of my feet would touch the ground. He left me in this position for long periods of time and for a number of hours.

Fifth: He beat me with the following tools of torture:

1. Baton (also known in Arabic as ‘Khaizrana’). (This is well known tool in the Middle East specifically made for torture.) It is approximately 1.2 meters long and approximately 2 cm wide. It is round and light brown in colour. He beat me with this baton at full strength on my hands until they swelled and on my back. The bruises from this torture would remain on my body for long periods of time ranging from days to weeks.

2. Hose, similar to a water hose; Ghazi Al Awfi repeatedly beat me with this tool on a number of occasions.  I was laid face down on the ground, with my eyes blindfolded, my hand and feet shackled. I am unable to describe the tool in further detail because I have not seen it, but I remember that the beating was very severe. I would scream in pain however he did not have any mercy and instead increased the beating because he enjoyed hearing my screams.

Sixth: Depriving me of sleep and at times allowing me very minute amounts of sleep. He would summon me for interrogation in the day and at night. Each interrogation lasted for several hours and often I was forced to stand during the sessions. When I was returned to my cell I could not sleep except very minute amounts. The sounds made by the military guards were very disturbing. This continued for a period of fifteen days and I became extremely exhausted both mentally and physically. I began to utter inappropriate words due to losing my senses.

Seventh: Ghazi al-‘Awfi always insulted me and treated me in the most degrading way. He would verbally abuse me and utter obscenities like ‘Oh bull’ and other terms which I do not remember.

What Yusuf al-Barakaty did:

First: He summoned me for interrogation day and night in a random manner without any predictable routine with the aim of causing me mental and physical fatigue. He did this at least 30 times or more.

Second: Yusuf al-Barakaty beat me without the use of any particular instruments; by using his hand and striking me with maximum strength on my back and my neck whilst screaming in my face “I am teaching you manners” and “I am rectifying your attitude”. He, al-Barakaty, then made me stand facing the wall with my eyes blindfolded and any hands and feet shackled for two hours. I remember very well that he would often enter the interrogation room while I was being tortured and would find it entertaining to stand and watch me being tortured. He would join in by hurling degrading verbal abuse in the worst forms at me. This occurred a number of times.

The first few months were the harshest times of my life. It was then that most of torture took place, those were dark days. On being returned to my cell following interrogation sessions I would find wounds on my body and my clothes would be stained with my own blood. During those months I was in a very bad psychological state. After being returned from interrogation sessions I would find pains in the places where I was beaten; for example in my stomach, in my thighs, legs, hands, fingers and even fingertips. I developed a phobia of interrogation and the interrogation officers. Whenever I came back to my cell my constant worry would be about when the next interrogation session might be. Not knowing when it would be caused enormous psychological distress and increased the effect and severity of my phobia of the interrogation sessions and the interrogator. I find it impossible to describe that period justly and words can hardly express those feelings.

I was cut off completely from the outside world. I was not allowed to contact my family, my sick mother or my pregnant wife. I was not allowed to appoint a lawyer to defend me legally or allowed to request my rights. I felt I was between life and death, and I was wishing that I had been dead and forgotten long before that time, than to have been subject to all this. I was either in a cell where no one could listen to me or I was in an interrogation room where it was even worse; I would scream, cry and shout in pain and agony but no one would have mercy, instead they would continue torturing me even more because they were beasts who found pleasure in that.

They prevented me from contacting my family for six months and I did not seen my family for the duration of my detention which lasted more than five years, except on approximately four occasions. I only saw my sick mother once during these years. I would not wish for anyone to go through such an ordeal. Whenever I remember it, it only increases my grief and sorrow.

It is worth noting here that I was not produced before any Court or charged with any offence throughout that period and I was not allowed to instruct a lawyer as stipulated in their code of procedure. The following are injuries and damages I suffered due to my detention:

Physical and psychological damage:

1. Severe pain due to severe physical torture
2. Deterioration of muscle due to forced inactivity resulting in lack of exercise over the years.
3. Deficiency in the level of vitamins due to a lack of adequate exposure to sunlight and poor nutrition throughout the years.
4. Irritable bowel syndrome
5. Weight loss due to malnutrition
6. Intense fear of the future and being constantly preoccupied with it.
7. Remaining very distant from the upbringing of my son throughout all these years, and him being brought up as a orphan without a father.

Material loss:

1. Huge material losses due to a complete halting of all business activities throughout the years.
2. The accumulation of debt as I am the only breadwinner for my family and I did not have a source of income during those years.
3. The loss of my property because my sudden disappearance from society.
4. Failure to return my possessions which had been confiscated when I was detained by the Mabahith in Saudi Arabia.

I was released in 2012. I was not compensated for the losses I incurred. I was not tried nor was I given any official or unofficial document explaining the reasons for my detention.

I ask everyone who reads this testimony to assist in taking legal action on behalf of the prisoners particularly those who were tortured at the hands of the mentioned interrogators. Indeed the majority of prisoners who were imprisoned at the Madinah Mabahith Detention Centre will have been tortured by the said interrogators. Those who are not able to do that may forward this to anyone who is able to raise complaints against these criminals. I also advise anyone who has suffered like myself not to remain silent and to raise complaints against their interrogators and to try and obtain arrest warrants against them via, for example, the international police –  Interpol.

Written by Abu Umar

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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Biographies, Campaigns


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Abu Muhummad: “My screaming did not prompt them to stop, instead they continued till my blood was shed and my clothes were stained by it.”

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


In the name of Allah the Most Beneficent the Most Merciful

My name is Abu Muhammad[1]. I was born in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the city of Madinah where I lived. I was arrested by the secret service (Mabahith) of Madinah in 2010. The group that arrested me comprised of officers, and foot soldiers in plain clothing. I was not arrested in a legal fashion, I was neither informed I was to be arrested nor did anyone present their ID or a legal document ordering the arrest. This was similar to a kidnapping. I do not know the names of those who arrested me however I am able to recognise some of them if I see their images.


During the time I was held I was subjected to verbal, physical and severe psychological abuse. This was done so they may extract false confessions off me that have no basis in reality. After two years of arrest I was deported from Saudi Arabia where I was born and where my family reside. They did so without charging me with any offence or standing before a court nor was I allowed to appoint a lawyer to represent me and attend my hearings as their law states.

I have seen the provided image, I know who it is, his name is Yusuf al-Barakaty. I learnt his name from some of the prisoners that were with me in prison. This Yusuf al-Barakaty is an officer and an interrogator in the Saudi secret service (Mabahith). He is ranked as a first lieutenant. However a brother heard him speaking on his phone saying “I am Captain Yusuf”, so perhaps he was elevated to the rank of Captain. This interrogator was responsible for my case and for forcibly extracting confessions from me. I came across him in the interrogation rooms, where he tortured me both physically and psychologically. I have documented here some of what I can remember of his conduct towards me:

1)      He deprived me of sleep for approximately 3 consecutive days and nights. He would order the guards in his absence to not allow me to sleep, and if I am overwhelmed by sleep to be awaken violently.

2)      He would compel me to remain standing for long periods of time reaching to over 10 consecutive hours. This was while my hands and feet were bound by chains and my eyes were blindfolded.

3)      He would slap me on my face to humiliate me. He used to slap me so hard that the markings would remain on my face for many hours.

4)      He made heinous threats at me about beating me excessively and prolonging my stay in prison.

5)      During one interrogation, approximately 5 individuals gathered around me. One of them dragged me by my feet – I was seated upon a chair – dropping me onto the ground. Thereafter some of them took hold of my hands and others my feet, the rest (approximately 3) began to strike me on my back and legs using thick electric cables, I was screaming from the severity of the pain. My screaming did not prompt them to stop, instead they continued till my blood was shed and my clothes were stained by it. I can still remember the complexion of some of them. None of them were dressed in military clothing. In fact some of them had sport clothes on while others wore plain clothing. Some were masked, I wish it had been out of shame from their abhorrent actions, rather it was out of fear of reprisals on their cowardly selves. Thereafter Yusuf Al-Barakaty entered – he being my interrogator – knowing what had occurred to me as no soldier is allowed to touch any person except with the permission of the interrogator, therefore it was he who ordered it. When he entered and saw me stained with my blood, he said nothing instead he continued interrogating me.

6)      I wanted to pray so I requested of the soldier to ask the interrogator, who was not in the room, if the shackles on my feet could be removed and to be allowed to wash the blood off my clothing so that I could pray. The interrogator, Yusuf al-Barakaty, refused even for just washing the blood from my clothes. I remained in this state for a number of days unable to wash it off.

7)      The interrogator would compel me to remain standing, if he was absent he appointed a soldier to not allow me to sit. I would remain standing for periods reaching up to 10 hours without anything to lean on, to the extent that my feet would no longer carry me. I remember once I was fasting and I was made to stand while both my hands and feet were bound. I became exhausted so I asked that I be brought some water so that I may nullify my fast due to the exhaustion that overwhelmed me. They refused which was obviously an order of the interrogator as the soldiers are unable to do anything except by his permission. The interrogator, Yusuf [al-Barakaty], came to me and threatened me with prolonging my imprisonment. He seated me on a chair and placed his knee on my thigh, then held onto my head and slapped me on my face repeatedly and powerfully. He then went to the neighbouring room where another person was. I heard him crying and screaming from the severity of the torture. I did not know what was being done to him however I heard him screaming out “I do not know”. His voice was freighting and it tore my heart. It seemed his situation was worse than mine and his torture was harsher than mine. I would like to note that this was a form of psychological torture. Any person who hears an oppressed person crying and screaming due to torture will feel his spirit is being destroyed, especially when this person is near to you and you’re unable to assist him.

The harshest days of torture were during the beginning of my imprisonment. I was put in solitary confinement for five months where I saw nobody during the day. They would take me for interrogation daily, the timing of which was unspecified. At times it would be in the morning and other times during the evening or night. The interrogation would last from a few hours up until to 10 hours and sometimes even longer.

At times they would take me for interrogation and compel me to remain standing with my hands raised, while I was shackled and blindfolded. I would be left in this state for many hours only to be returned to my cell without being interrogated.

Another person had interrogated me, his name was Major Ghazi al-Sa’idi, I learnt his name from some of the soldiers. He and Yusuf Al-Barakaty took part in my interrogation and torture.

While I was in the interrogation room one day, Ghazi al-Sa’idi came and had a thick electricity cable with him. He began to strike the person beside me then he entered upon me and began to beat me. He concentrated on the exposed parts of the feet and hands. He would demand that I confess to things I do not know about.  Then he moved to the next person, we were approximately 3 persons or more. I did not see them however I heard their screams and shouts. Ghazi al-Sa’idi  then came back to beat me again.  During this severe torture Yusuf [al-Barakaty] came along accompanied with an officer, I do not know his name but I am able to recognise him from an image of his. The three of these men ordered me to remain standing with my hands raised while they moved over to the person beside me. The torture in that room was severe, as were the screams. My heart tore apart due to the screams of that brother, I was invoking Allah for him and that Allah does not return them to me. The barbaric torture continued with no mercy for approximately half an hour or more. Hearing his screams was more difficult upon me than killing me.

These were the most difficult days of my life. After it, the interrogations continued for a year. They would ask me concerning matters I am ignorant of in hope of extracting confessions of things I did not do. They placed me in solitary confinement for 5 months. I did not see anybody during that time nor was I allowed to contact my family. The living conditions were very harsh, all due to the orders of the interrogator.

During the period of my imprisonment which lasted for 2 years and a month, I was not put on trial nor did I face a court or even charged. I was deported to (X) in 2012. Although I am free now, my heart is in agony due to what I saw in Saudi Arabia. My conscience feels pain when I hear of human rights organisations who claim they wish to lift oppression from humanity but we saw nothing from them when we were most in need of them.

I hope in Allah and then in everyone who is able to assist me in retrieving my rights and compensation due to what I suffered from physical torture, humiliation, depravation of my freedom and psychological pressures. Also to punish those who transgressed against us and committed heinous crimes against humanity.

[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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Abu Haytham: “They would curse me, insult me, humiliate me and they did things I can’t even say”

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


My name is Abu Haytham[1]. I went to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah in 2005 and was detained arbitrarily…I was imprisoned for 5 years without knowing why.  During my imprisonment, I was tortured and humiliated.


I was arrested by the Saudi police and forty people came to arrest me armed with guns without showing me their I.D and no one told me why I was arrested. I remember that most of the officials who came to arrest me, I saw them again during my interrogation.

At the beginning when they were interrogating me, they were very polite and most of the interrogators were lieutenants. Among those interrogators were:

1.      Lieutenant Bandar Khaled al-Hazamy
2.      Captain Ali al-Badrani
3.      Captain Fahad al-Ahmady
4.      Captain Yusuf al-Barakaty

The others, I can’t remember their names. But the way they treated me in prison was very bad, and they tried to tell me that it was part of the interrogation. Captain Said al-Shehri, Captain Naqeeb al-Shehri, Captain Nahar al-Sharif, Ali al-Shamarany, Khaled al-Qarashi and Captain Fahad would torture me always but the person who was in charge of the prison, Sulayman al-Muhammady treated me with respect. I stayed three months without clothes except one time when I was permitted to wear them.


They didn’t give me a mattress to sleep but they gave me a blanket to cover myself. I was interrogated for three months with respect but later changed their tactics and they started to beat me, torture me in so many different ways and degrade me.

From what I can remember:

  •  They would beat me all over my body using equipment for torture
  •  They used electricity which looked like a stick and at the end of it there were wires which were used to electrocute me
  • Severely beaten with sticks and iron bars
  • I was whipped with wires similar to electrical cables

They used to keep me awake and I was not allowed to sleep for several days and left me feeling fatigued in the following ways:

  • Standing all day in the interrogation room for days without breaks
  • Standing under the very hot sun sometimes more than twenty hours
  • Standing in freezing cold water only wearing my underwear for long hours

I was forbidden from my following rights:

  • I was forbidden from clothes and a mattress continuously for many years
  • Forbidden from going to the toilet on specific days
  • Forbidden from the air conditioning during summer when the temperature would reach 50 Celsius and I was locked in my cell which was only 2m
  • I was not allowed to write or have any newspaper
  • I was not allowed to call my family during this period because this was an order from the Ministry of Interior who had stopped me from calling my family officially until after a year. Although my family knew my situation was really bad and how I was living, it was psychologically bad in prison because of my worries.
  • They used to chain my legs for long periods and continuously for a period of three months.
  • The noise of the fan in my cell would cause me to have a nervous breakdown
  • They would force me to eat expired food
  • They forced me to sign papers without knowing what was on there
  • Directly threatened me in front of a relative even though we are not close, and they threatened to torture me despite what they had already put me through
  • They would curse me, insult me, humiliate me and they did things I can’t even say

And from those who tortured and hit me severely was the Sergeant Bakr al-‘Awfi, Captain Yusuf al-Barakaty who interrogated me a number of times in a number of degrading ways and I assure the picture is the same person, Yusuf al-Barakaty, who took part in my continuous torture. They accused me for something I haven’t done and I was forced to write a false confession.

After a year passed of my stay in Madinah….they transferred me to another prison and I was kept in the cell for six months. For your information, I have spent six months in an individual cell in Madinah [in solitary confinement] and during those six months, the air conditioning was switched off and the soldier used to tell me: “This has been instructed by the department of interrogation”.

Nothing was allowed, no books, no newspaper, no writing. I was not allowed to call or even to see the sun during that period and because of this in the cell, my eyesight became weak and I couldn’t buy glasses until after two years and a half which made the vein of my eyes lazy. Also, I had other medical complications with my prostate, I suffered from piles, the veins of my right knee, with my rib cage all because of the beatings and tortured I endured. You can see all the reports in the central prison.

Complicity of Judicial Authority

After three years and a half, they transferred me to Riyadh for the court hearing. When I reached Riyadh, they took me the following day to the court and when I reached there I had no idea that I was going to the court until I went in and saw the judge. I asked if I could have a lawyer and they said it was not allowed even though what was said on National TV was different (i.e. that he was being represented). The judge convicted me according to the details on the testimonies and he sentenced me to [undisclosed] years.

The judge counted the years I’ve been in prison and told me: “I know you are innocent and your story has been fabricated but I want you to learn a lesson in life”. I was deported from Saudi after five years….since my arrest and that was in 2011. Nothing I owned before being arrested was given to me and I was not compensated for the torture I was subjected to or the fact that I was arrested with no charge. I was not allowed to enter Saudi Arabia from any part of the world.

I can’t stop writing. Whenever I want to stop I remember something and say “Allah is sufficient for us and we put our trust in Him”. I want whoever is reading this testimony to know the Kingdom and to help those who have been oppressed and help spread the truth.

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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Biographies, Campaigns


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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.”

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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