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The Mabahith (Arabic: المباحث العامة‎, al-Mabāḥiṯ al-ʿĀmmah, General Investigation Directorate), also spelled Mabaheth, is the "secret police" agency of the Ministry of Interior in Saudi Arabia, and deals with domestic security and counter-intelligence.


According to Human Rights Watch, the Mabahith "monitors suspected political opponents and others, targets individuals for arrest, and interrogates detainees. Mabahith agents operate with impunity and have been responsible for a wide range of human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrest, incommunicado detention, and torture".[1]

Members of the Mabahith were allegedly responsible for the torture of Western detainees arrested during a car bombing campaign which started in 2000. Two members in particular, Khalid al-Saleh and Ibrahim al-Dali, were named by William Sampson in his court action against the Saudi Government. Sampson and others lost their case in the UK High Court when the Saudis used the State Immunity Act 1978 as their defence.


Al-Ha'ir Prison[edit]

Al-Ha'ir Prison is a Mabahith-affiliated prison.[2]

`Ulaysha Prison[edit]

Mabahith runs the `Ulaysha Prison in Riyadh,[3] where it holds prisoners under arbitrary detention. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has objected to arbitrary detention at Mabahith's prison.[4][5] As of June 2011, arbitrarily detained prisoners apparently include five founding members of a would-be political party, the Umma Islamic Party,[3] and Khaled al-Johani, who publicly protested in Riyadh on the 11 March "Day of Rage" during the 2011 Saudi Arabian protests.[6][7]

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