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Source: al-Islah (Reform) Type: Weekly newsletter Organization: al-Harakah al-Islamiyyah lil-Islah (The Movement for Islamic Movement in Arabia-- MIRA) President: Saad al-Fagih Email: <> URL: Date: Nov 11, 1996 Language: Arabic Translation completed: 17 November 1996 Service: MSANEWS Title (Arabic): Jahim al-Sujun al-Saudiyyah kama yarwiha mu`taqal Title (English): The Gehenna of Incarceration in Arabia as related by a prisoner of conscience NOTE: Includes information on the whereabouts of Abu Abdelaziz 'Barbaros' of Bosnia and Afghan war-veteran Hassan al-Srihi who was extradited from Pakistan early this year. (eds.) TEXT: We used to hear leaks of news coming from the concentration camps of Abu Za`bal in Egypt, Tadmir in Syria or any of the 'no-honor' concentration camps established by the various regimes of oppression and tyranny in the Arab world in these times of trial. When we heard what was done to prisoners in (distant lands) of dehumanizing acts of torture that send shivers down ones spine, and make the hair of a new born go white (idiom., Ar.), the people of the Arab Peninsula (Ar.: Ahl al-Jazirah) used to call upon their Lord to help the destitute, and remember the bounties of God that made their land safe and saved them from the trials of time and such a Gehenna. They used to say, "We are, thank God, better than others." Now that the epidemic has passed on, and the plague has spread among the ruling elite and those who hold the powers in our land, there is no much difference between what happens in the prisons of the most brutal of Arab regimes and what happens in the prisons of Aal Saud. From the use of Falaga (prolonged flogging on the soles of the feet, usually while the detainee is suspended in the air), to beating with whips pre-immersed in cold water, to the "poulet roti" (Roast Chicken) hanging of those being questioned (suspension of the detainee by the feet, or by the arms which are tied behind the back), to the extraction of finger and toenails, to the insertion of bottle necks and various objects into the rectum. All are now routine torture methods. (There is a complete list of such tools and methods with graphic pictures at URL: . The site is about Iraq's practices in 'Occupied Kuwait' during the second Gulf War. Otherwise, the practices are widely spread from the 'Ocean to the Gulf'.) For methods of psychological torture talk and do not feel obliged to stop (idiom., meaning they are plenty.) They include the threat of rape of the detainee, the threat to rape his wife, mother or sister and the actual act of rape; humiliation by fondling a detainees sexual organs; the gathering of detainees in an open area where all are naked. Add to that the arrest of wives, their interrogation by beasts who do not know that there is something called human dignity or honor; foul is their language and arrogant is their behavior. Add to this their complete disrespect to deen (religion of Islam), their Fisq (deviance) and Kufr (disbelief). This is the story which was told to us by a youth, a trustworthy (veteran of the Afghan war, an "Arab-Afghan") who was incarcerated at Ar-Ruwais Prison in Jeddah (West Arabia) and whom Allah saved from its Gehenna. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 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 (fitna means either mischief in land or simply trial by way of testing one's faith.) I went back to the Mamlakah (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) seeking safety and tranquility (Ar.: Amn and Aman). I looked for treatment for the amputated leg (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 last November), 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. They took me on a trip to Gehenna (Ar.: Rihlah ila al-Jahim). The trip took eight months of misery and agony. I never thought anyone could find such a treatment of humiliation in Bilad al-Haramayn (land of the two holy shrines.) -- (Ed.: In reference to a promise of Amn and safety given, according to Islamic scripture, to any one seeking the rescue and protection - Jiwar al-Haramayn - in certain parts of Arabia making such places a sanctuary and making the old Arab practice of Jiwar - rescue/protection - as legally binding in Islam.) The car (which took me along with my belongings) 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 humongous 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 (Zenzenah) not exceeding 1.5 m in length by 1.0 m of width. I stayed there 3 months. I was not there for long after my first arrival when I was taken to Maktab No. 1 (Office No. 1). There I met the interrogator, (who goes by the alias of) "Abu Nayef" (and) who was recently promoted to the rank of Liwa (Lieutenant). He was promoted, I believe, for his commitment to humiliating the servants of God (idiom., Ar.: it simply means 'people' or 'citizens') 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 (names suggests he is Egyptian, should be read as Za' zoo'), enjoys the leadership his commandeers through the torture of others and is worst (than Abu Nayef) in both tongue and extravagant attacks on deen and chastity. 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 (idiom. Ar.) 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. Everytime 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 corps. 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 (only the Arabs master.) They hit me with whips and sticks all over. Sometimes they did it all as one group. Sometimes they took roles. They were making Jihad in the way of Sultan (idiom. Ar.: Jihad fi Sabil as-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 despite the agony of the tortured fondling with his private parts and inserting in his rectum whatever they willed. All of this and they we laughing as if they were feasting on a camp fire as them desert Arabs commonly spent their joyful times (roasting and feasting). 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 (party animal) "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 Ulema and the righteous ones. Everytime 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 (as the Hadith states). 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 those who go to the point of claiming that Ulema and society as a whole is in a state of disbelief (therefore making it legal to wage war against it according to Shari`a). They wanted to force me to confess to having targeted with armed action some specific civilians targets (such as those of malls and things alike). I knew later when I was taken to the collective cell that all the shabab (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. Torture increased for the interrogators thought that such a confession is a true one. They torture them until they confess to other matters other than what they were forced to sign. I realized after having been moved to the collective cell that the number of prisoners of conscience was just plain too much. 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 (Ar. Wuhush Dhariah). 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 Mahrems (wife, mother or sister) 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 (Ar.: Nawbah Jihadiyyah) 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. The man lost his mind and is now a crazed soul (as if possessed by a demon. Ar.: Halah mina al-Junun al-Tam.) In the collective cell, I saw and heard what no one could ever believe. In the concentration camp (Ar. Mu`taqal) I saw a group of (Arab) Mujahideen; those no one in Arabia could point at except by way of honor 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 -- Ar.: Ma'sadat al-Ansar) who was brought from Pakistan and delivered to the Mamlakah. 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. Neither did the authorities do justice to him. I knew from my stay there that (Palestinian) Professor Muhammad Yusuf Abbas (alias Abu al-Qassim) who was Shaikh Abdallah Azzam's caliph at Maktab Khadamat al-Mujahideen (Al-Kifah Refugee Center) was there. Abu Abdelaziz 'Barbaros', the man who was at the forefront of Jihad in Bosnia, who is now almost fifty years old, of which he spend many 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 (Zenzanat al-Mushaghibeeen) 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 for this reason and give reason one another and excuse for such a dire matter. 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 week at least to the "roasting" feasts. He was entertainment material for "human" wolves (Ar. Adh-dhi`ab al-Bashariyyah). 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 (along the lines I described above.) All of this in the hope to find a justification to this crime of theirs (torture) of which no law whether revealed or written has enacted. Despite all, the plots of torturers and servants of 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 Sekhina (Ar.: Sekina) and tranquility despite adversity come. 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 (remembrance by way of hymns). 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 publicized 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 dehumanizing 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 Islah (reform), or championing 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.) END OF TRANSLATION.