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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 Presidency of State Security 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] including waterboarding, denailing, flagellation and beatings, amongst other forms of severe abuse.

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.[citation needed] 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-Haa'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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