35 Christians face deportation from Saudi

2012-01-31 10:46

kalahari.com

Dubai - Thirty-five Ethiopian Christians, 29 of them women, face deportation from Saudi Arabia for "illicit mingling" after police raided a private prayer gathering, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday.

The New York-based watchdog said the women were subjected to "unwarranted strip search", while the men were beaten and insulted as "unbelievers".

The group was arrested on December 15 in a private home in Jeddah as they gathered to pray ahead of Christmas in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom which bans the practice of any religious rites except those of Islam.

"While King Abdullah sets up an international interfaith dialogue centre, his police are trampling on the rights of believers of others faiths," said HRW senior Middle East researcher Christoph Wilcke.

"The Saudi government needs to change its own intolerant ways before it can promote religious dialogue abroad," he added in a statement.

HRW said it spoke to three members of the group - two women and one man.

Unchanged glove

Those who were taken to court have been told that they were being charged with "illicit mingling" of unmarried persons of the opposite sex.

At Buraiman prison, officers forced women to strip and an officer "inserted her finger into each of the women's genitals, under the pretext of searching for illegal substances", HRW said citing the two women.

"She wore a plastic glove that she did not change," it added.

At the male prison, officers "kicked and beat the men, and insulted them as 'unbelievers'" the man in custody told HRW by telephone.

HRW said that Saudi Arabia has no codified criminal law that defines "illicit mingling", calling on authorities to release the Ethiopian men and women "immediately if there is no evidence to charge them with offences that are recognisably criminal under international norms".

It also urged Riyadh to investigate allegations of "physical and sexual abuse".

Read more on:    hrw  |  saudi arabia  |  religion  |  human rights
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
23 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Cape Town - 16:15 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights - Allow Extra Tavel Time
  • Friday Kuils River - 09:28 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 3 Black 64GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 4G

Retina Display Finally the incredible Retina display technology from the iPhone...

From R7999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The day may have a fluctuating sensitive energy to begin with, but later when the Moon moves into dramatic and creative Leo you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.