Rights Group:Saudi Arrested, Tortured 150 Palestinians over Charitable Activities

wilayattimes (Saudi Arabia)

Riyadh:An independent human rights group announced that Saudi authorities have arrested and tortured scores of Palestinian expatriates living in the conservative kingdom over their involvement in charitable activities and sending money back home.

Prisoners of Conscience, which is an independent non-governmental organization seeking to promote human rights in Saudi Arabia, announced in a series of posts on its official Twitter page on Tuesday evening that more than 150 Palestinians are currently languishing in Saudi detention centers, Middle East Monitor reported.

Some 40 Palestinians were arrested in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah alone.

The rights group added that Saudi intelligence agents have committed rights abuses against Palestinians during and after their arrest.

The tweets noted that Saudi security forces stormed the houses of the Palestinians at night, locked women and children in one room and confiscated electronic devices before arresting those they were looking for.

“All of the detainees, including businessmen Osama Filali, Hisham Filali, Mohammed bin Mahfouz, Rees bin Mahfouz and Saleh Abu Ghosh, are completely barred from contacting their families. Some are entering their second year in detention. Families of some prisoners do not know anything about them even during (the holy Muslim fasting month of) Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr (which marks the end of the month),” the group said.

Earlier this month, Arabic-language al-Khaleej Online news website reported that Saudi officials have blocked money transfers between the kingdom and the Gaza Strip.

The report described residents of the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip as the main victims of the move. Most of the bank transfers that used to be carried out normally in the past, were frozen just a few days before the start of the Eid holiday.

Remittance transactions are taking much longer time than usual – something that used to be done in a matter of few hours.

Many Palestinians have complained of the move, and termed it as “unprecedented”. They argue that the process of transferring money between Saudi Arabia and the Gaza Strip has become extraordinarily difficult.

Over the past two years, Saudi authorities have deported more than 100 Palestinians from the kingdom, mostly on charges of supporting Hamas resistance movement financially, politically or through social networking sites.

The Riyadh regime has imposed strict control over Palestinian funds in Saudi Arabia since the end of 2017.

All remittances of Palestinian expatriates are being tightly controlled, fearing that these funds could be diverted indirectly and through other countries to Hamas.

Money transfer offices are asking the Palestinians to bring forward strong arguments for conversion, and do not allow the ceiling of one’s money transfer to exceed $3,000.