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Torture (Medically) and Suffer of the Prisoner of Conscience Sheikh AlNimer Due to Deliberate Medical Negligence

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The European Saudi Organization for Human Rights (ESOHR) is concerned about the health condition of the prisoner of conscience Sheikh AlNemer due to the medical negligence since the first day of his arrest on July 8, 2012.

The Saudi government has not committed to provide the medical care for Sheikh AlNemer, as he was shot four bullets in the left thigh by the security forces during the arrest. They dragged him out of his car, then deliberately shot. As a result, he got three bullets in the middle of his left front side thigh bone (Femur), and one lodged in the back of the thigh after crossing from the front and passing besides the bone. After being shot, he fell to the ground, which caused bruising in different areas including around one eye, one of his hands, on his back, cut on the back of his head due to hit with a back of the firearm (Buttstock), which then required four stitches, and a cut in the right toes.

These injuries have not been treated well, and consequently causing constant pain and some were severe over the first three months. This led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. He also suffered from severe wound infection causing severe pain that was deliberately ignored in the first three weeks but then treated. This medical negligence was a deliberate approach of torture. Moreover, due to the brutal arrest, he lost some artificial teeth in the front topside. Yet, Sheikh AlNemer suffered the most from the four bullets and the outcome of the wounds and fractures.

After his arrest, he was transferred to the Dammam Central Hospital and underwent a surgery to remove three bullets, which consequently shattered the bone. As a result, the surgeons removed parts of the thigh bone in the center, which decreased the length of leg by two centimeters and a half. The surgeons placed an external link that looks like the U letter, and then it was removed after nearly three months. His family believes that the medical treatment was not enough and he needs more medical care and there are experts who could treat such cases outside the kingdom, and some specialists believe that there are better ways to perform this procedure to avoid the shortage of the bone, which then led to limp.

The post-surgery rehabilitation required by the surgeon and orthopedic specialists was not provided and that led to a mobility impairments (difficulty walking) and such a condition could be a permanent. The fourth bullet was removed after more than two years, without a clear explanation of the long delay. Due to the surgery and lack of medical care as well as the lack of sun exposure since the arrest and detention in the Security Forces Hospital in Riyadh, more than two years, his left femur bone became more like an arc shape. There was not a doctor for the post-surgery rehabilitation to guide him through physical therapy and such, nor providing walking stick or crutches. Therefore, he was forced to walk on an injured bone. Although he remained in custody for about two years in the prison of the Security Forces Hospital, then transferred to Al-Ha’ir prison in Riyadh on 03/09/2014, no medical care was provided. He was only dealing with people wearing civilian clothes, but disallowed to deal with doctors. After the transfer of Al-Ha’ir prison, the prison officials began to take Sheikh AlNemer to the clinic almost routinely, then asked the usual medical questions to patients and then returned back to the cell. He also was given a weekly sun exposure for an hour.

Recently, there has been a deliberate neglect in the last four months, as no barber or nail clipper, which is usually provided for the poisoners by the barber during the shaving time and then taken immediately after they are done. Another way of the deliberate neglect is not providing clean clothes nor cleaning the cell. He only has a shirt and pants, where he has to wash and change frequently. Usually, prisoners are provided with clean washed clothes on a regular basis, but this is not in recent months for Sheikh AlNemer. The water in his room that is for washing or shower is cold, and no toothpaste or any personal hygiene items are provided. Sheikh Nimr is currently 57 years old and a nearsighted, but since the arrest no glasses were provided. He also suffers other health problems, but no medical care provided either.

The ESOHR emphasize that the violations of Sheikh AlNemer’s case such as the medical negligence, since the arrest and still going, clearly violate the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which Saudi Arabia ratified in 1997. Accordingly, and based on articles 12, 13 and 14 of the Convention, the Saudi government should hold accountable those responsible for human rights abuse such as torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

And in the absence of neutrality of the official authorities in Saudi Arabia, we call on the international community to stand up for justice, for this case, and deal with it according to the human rights mechanisms and recognized dialogue. We confirm that Sheikh AlNemer is a prisoner of conscience, detained for his activities of demanding political reforms and the citizens’ rights. Currently, Sheikh AlNemer is sentenced to death and it has been finalized, he could be executed at any moment!

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