Criminal Justice In Saudia Arabia: A State Of Secrecy

1761 words - 7 pages

Criminal Justice in Saudi Arabia: A State of Secrecy Forms of criminal justice vary throughout the world. They vary in procedures of law, punishments, and treatment of prisoners. Saudi Arabia is one country that deals with criminal justice very differently than most. Saudi Arabia practices some appalling acts on its prisoners, along with discriminatory practices against women and other minorities. Saudi Arabia has committed itself to prevent torture after attending the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1997. The problems lies here in which Saudi Arabia has promised to stop these hanus acts, but no results have been evident. The criminal justice system contributes to the torture. The lack of judicial security leads to detainees being treated differently on the basis of their social status, religion, political beliefs, nationality or gender. These discriminatory laws are justified under Saudi Arabian law. Osman Gedi Guled wrote in his diary regarding what happened when he tried to intervene to stop guards from beating a Non-Muslim for his refusal to take part in prayers. He writes, "I said to the officer, 'Can I ask you a question?...Where is it found in the Kitab [the Qu'ran] that other people who are not Muslims are forced to pray?' He replied, 'It is found in Saudi Arabia.'" The government is based on Islam, and since Saudi Arabia is an Islamic State, many of the laws are taken from the Koran, which give prominence to the traditions and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. There is no separation between church and state, which leads to minority religions, such as Christians and Sikhs, having to comply with Islamic laws. This society's dealings with its criminal offenders are rarely spoken about, but the inhumane treatment continues on. Furthermore, this country relies on secrecy of its practices. There are no political parties, no elections, no independent legislature, no trade unions, and no independent human rights organization. The government turns its head to any human rights organizations wanting to carry out research and discloses information. Anyone living in Saudi Arabia is imposed with a fear that if they criticize the system they will be harshly punished. Since the information is disclosed about the torture and brutality, Amnesty International has repeatedly attempted to get information. Amnesty International, luckily, has interviewed victims from the Middle East about their experiences of torture and imprisonment in Saudi Arabia, to find out what really goes on in the country. Otherwise, this "secret society" could never be exposed for what its really worth. The system of arrest and questioning is very different from that of America. Those that are arrested in Saudi Arabia for whatever crime, they find themselves trapped in a criminal justice system that provides them with no information about their fate. The system does not let the prisoner's prompt...

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