A Saudi woman right activist is being regularly beaten, whipped and tortured in a ‘palace of terror’, her brother has revealed.
Walid al-Hathloul said that on a recent visit to the prison where Loujain al-Hathloul is being held, she told him that she was being tortured with electric shocks and sexually harassed, reports CNN.
Al-Hathloul has been jailed without charges since May 2018 for her activism, which included defying the kingdom’s ban on women driving before it was lifted last year.
In an opinion piece for the news website, Walid revealed his sister had been taken from Dhahban prison, in near Dahaban, Jeddah, to a secret place known as the ‘hotel’.
In the ‘hotel’ basement, she was subjected to torture as well as rape threats and death threats.
One fellow detainee was threatened with being thrown into the sewage system.
This treatment has been overseen by Saud al-Qahtani, one of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s top advisers, she claimed.
Walid wrote: ‘When I think about what goes on in that basement, I feel sick. My own baby sister said she is being whipped, beaten, electrocuted and harassed on a frequent basis.
‘She said that sometimes there are masked men who wake her up in the middle of the night to shout unimaginable threats.’
He went on: ‘Whenever Loujain spoke about the torture sessions to my parents, her hands shook uncontrollably. I fear the pain will stay with her forever.’
Walid also said that one of his sister’s torturers threatened her with rape if she did not marry him.
Qahtani, who allegedly oversaw Al-Hathloul’s torture, is one of the men believed to have planned the October 2 attack on Jamal Khashoggi.
Turkish prosecutors are seeking royal court adviser chief Qahtani’s arrest for the killing.
Walid wrote the opinion piece in response to the news that Mariah Carey had refused to cancel her concert in Saudi Arabia despite calls by women’s rights activists.
Carey is the highest-profile star to perform in the kingdom since it began loosening decades of restrictions on entertainment.
But activists have said her concert is an attempt by the government to polish its image after the killing of Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
Walid called on Carey to call for his sister’s release on stage when she performed at the Saudi International golf tournament yesterday.