al-Ha'ir Prison

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Coordinates: 24°26′56″N 46°48′47″E / 24.449°N 46.813°E / 24.449; 46.813 (Al-Ha'ir Prison) Al-Ha'ir Prison (Arabic: سجن الحاير‎‎ also romanized as al-Hayer, al-Hayar, or al-Haer) is a Saudi Arabian maximum-security Mabahith-affiliated[1] prison located approximately 25 miles south of Riyadh. Saudi Arabia's largest prison, the complex includes facilities for both common criminals and security offenders, and reportedly houses a number of al-Qaeda figures.

September 2003 fire[edit]

In September 2003 there was a major fire at al-Ha'ir in which sixty-seven inmates died and at least twenty were injured.

Famous inmates[edit]


In October 2004, former detainees William Sampson, Sandy Mitchell and Les Walker, part of a group of nine foreign nationals convicted of bombing, terrorism and espionage (and subsequently released on royal pardon) were given permission by the Court of Appeal of England and Wales to sue for redress for wrongful conviction and torture. Named in the suit were:

  • Prince Naif, Minister of Interior
  • Mohammed Said, governor of al-Ha'ir Prison
  • Ibrahim al-Dali, officer of the Mabahith (the Saudi Arabian general intelligence service)
  • Khaled al-Saleh, officer of the Mabahith

In 2006 this judgement was overturned by the Law Lords, and the plaintiffs have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.


External links[edit]