EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 23/04/91
6 December 1991
Further information on UA 333/91 (MDE 23/03/91, 10 October 1991) - Fear of
SAUDI ARABIA: Muhammad al-Fasi
Muhammad al-Fasi, a Saudi Arabian businessman, was arrested in Amman, Jordan
on 2 October 1991 by Jordanian security forces and was subsequently handed
over to Saudi Arabian authorities. He was reportedly detained because of his
criticism of the Saudi Arabian Government during the Gulf war.
Amnesty International has recently received reports that Muhammad al-Fasi,
who continues to be held in a secret location in Riyadh, has been subjected
to beatings all over his body and to falaqa (beatings on the soles of the feet).
As a result, his right hand is said to have been fractured. Muhammad al-Fasi
has also reportedly been shackled throughout his detention and blindfolded
for extended periods. He has reportedly been forced to sign confessions and
to read out these confessions while being filmed with a video camera.
At this stage, Amnesty International cannot confirm these specific allegations
of torture. However, they are consistent in their detail with reliable reports
received by the organization in recent years about the torture and ill-treatment
of political detainees, which remains a common practice in Saudi Arabia.
Amnesty International is also concerned about the authorities' continued lack
of response to appeals made on behalf of Muhammad al-Fasi and other political
detainees. It fears that the continued incommunicado detention of Muhammad
al-Fasi creates conditions which facilitate the use of torture.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/airmail letters:
- expressing concern at reports that Muhammad al-Fasi is being tortured, and
urging the authorities to set up a prompt and impartial investigation into
- urging that he be granted immediate access to independent doctors and adequate
medical treatment as necessary, and prompt and regular access to a lawyer and
- seeking assurances that he is being treated humanely;
- requesting clarification of his current whereabouts and of the legal basis
of his detention, and urging that he be immediately released unless he is to