Christian tortured for faith in Saudi Arabia

By April 2, 2004

Saudia Arabia (MNN/ANS) — A Christian is in police custody in Saudi Arabia. According to the Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern Brian O’Connor was arrested by religious police, or the Muttawa, in Riyadh. O’Connor is a Indian national. Sources inside the country say O’Connor has been beaten while in custody.

O’Connor has been able to receive visitors. He says his legs were chained and he was hung upside down and says the religious police came in taking turns kicking him in the chest. He also says that he was whipped on his back and the soles of his feet by electrical wires and is in much pain as he walks. He also reports that he is in intense pain, and thinks that a rib may be broken.

According to Assist News, the police are holding him on drug, liquor and preaching Christianity charges. Police say these charges were levied by the Muttawa, and they have no direct proof of the claims made by them. It is typical for charges of drug dealing to be leveled at Christians suspected of spreading the Gospel. The Police also stated that the Muttawa were the ones who interrogated him and not the Police themselves. The Muttawas have informed O’Connor that he is to be formally charged on these 3 points and will be taken to court where the case would take about 6 to 7 months before a verdict is issued.

O’Connor is known to be an upstanding citizen in the community and is a Christian. It is not known yet if the Muttawa have forced him to sign documents of admission to the crimes he is charged with. It has been common practice in Saudi that during torture, the Muttawas force Christians to sign documents in Arabic, which they were told are release papers. Later, they find out that they signed documents admitting to crimes of drug trafficking, etc…

ICC is very concerned that the Saudi’s, who claim to be the United States’ partners in the war on terror, have continued to imprison, torture and deport expatriate Christian workers in Saudi Arabia. The ICC is asking that the United States take serious action in demanding not only the release of O’Conner, but a formal apology be made, and the immediate reinstatement to his position with Saudi Airlines. ICC is also concerned about his present physical condition and are asking for an immediate report on his health, confirmed by a doctor.

Leave a Reply