Saudi public prosecutor says ‘no detainees tortured’

Deputy Attorney General Shalaan bin Rajeh Al-Shalaan. (SPA)
Updated 03 March 2019
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Saudi public prosecutor says ‘no detainees tortured’

  • Al-Shalaan: “The detainee in question, as well as all the other detainees, enjoy their full rights,” he underlined, pointing out that all Saudi jails were supervised by the PPO

RIYADH: Several detainees accused of organizing activities undermining Saudi Arabian security have been treated well in accordance with the law, according to Deputy Attorney General Shalaan bin Rajeh Al-Shalaan.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper on Friday, he strenuously denied allegations of torture, and suggested an indictment list had been prepared against the defendants, and that their case would soon be referred to a court.
Al-Shalaan stressed that media reports concerning the violation of the human rights of one of the female detainees “were false,” stating that the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Human Rights Commission and the National Society for Human Rights had all looked into the matter and found no evidence.
“The detainee in question, as well as all the other detainees, enjoy their full rights,” he underlined, pointing out that all Saudi jails were supervised by the PPO. “Women, in particular have designated spaces supervised by female guards.”
Charges against the detainees include communication and cooperation with individuals and organizations hostile to the Kingdom, and recruiting people in sensitive government entities to obtain information, as well as providing financial and moral support to hostile elements abroad.


Tuwaiq Sculpture Symposium opens in Riyadh for the first time

Updated 32 min 12 sec ago
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Tuwaiq Sculpture Symposium opens in Riyadh for the first time

  • Since their arrival, the international artists have enjoyed tours of the city, including to Al-Masmak Fortress, as well as newer landmarks such as Kingdom Tower
  • The symposium will run until March 22

RIYADH: The first Tuwaiq International Sculpture Symposium kicked off in Riyadh on Monday morning in the capital’s Diplomatic Quarter, featuring the works of 23 artists from 18 different countries.
Participants of note include South Korean sculptor So Dong Choe, Mexican artist Carlos Monge, and Japan’s Yoshin Ogata. The symposium’s three Saudi participants are Ali Al-Toukhais, his nephew Talal Altukhaes, and Mohammad Althagafi.
Altukhaes, an organizer as well as a participant, told Arab News that the goal of the symposium was to create an environment in which artists could share techniques, collaborate with one another, and promote a sense of camaraderie.
The sculptors will assist each other in creating their artworks despite the language barriers between them, but Altukhaes told Arab News that words were not as important as demonstrations of technique, given most of the sculptors would wear ear protection to guard against the constant buzz of heavy machinery anyway.
Since their arrival, the international artists have enjoyed tours of the city, including to Al-Masmak Fortress, as well as newer landmarks such as Kingdom Tower. “Everyone is happy, you can see it in their smiles as they’re working,” Altukhaes said.

New Zealander Anna Korver, covered from head to toe in white dust, grinned as she told Arab News how excited she was to be part of the symposium.
Ogata expressed how happy he was to be in Saudi Arabia for the first time, and that he was enjoying the new experience. “It’s a nice place. The dry climate is a little different to what I’m used to, but the heat is something I’m accustomed to. It’s always a pleasure to work with other sculptors — I usually work alone in my studio back home, so I enjoy seeing everyone here together, and being able to watch them work.”
“It’s my first time in Saudi Arabia, and I was always curious about what it would be like. I had no idea what to expect when I first came, but I’ve been having a great time so far. The symposium is perfect. It is great to work with people who really know what we need as artists — we have all the assistance we need.
“My work is always sort of a narrative about women, and I often like to use the dress form as a symbol of femininity. I’ve chosen to incorporate the hijab into my design. It should give a feeling of lightness when it’s viewed.”
Al-Toukhais, who has had work displayed all over the Arab world, said the secret to becoming an excellent sculptor was patience and commitment. “Sculpting is not for those who are looking for instant gratification, or to become famous overnight. You have to have passion, and drive, but most of all you have to be patient.”
Dr. Fahd bin Mushayt, the executive chairman of the General Authority of the Embassies, thanked the minister of culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah, for sponsoring the event. In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency, he added that more than 20 masterpieces would be produced by the end of the collaboration.
The symposium will run until March 22.