Poor Conditions at Detention Center Inexcusable

Online news site Sabq published several photos showing the poor conditions of al-Nassiriyah traffic prison in Riyadh on the first day of the new year. The police responded by saying this was a temporary situation due to maintenance, and that the photographer was “looking for a negative scene” to embarrass the department. Khaled Al-Sulaiman says this is no excuse:

If the photographer did not observe a negative scene, there would not have been any picture in the first place. Intentions do not matter here. If the photographer wanted to embarrass the traffic police by taking and publishing the picture, it was the traffic police who in fact embarrassed themselves by creating the negative conditions even if it were just temporary or resulted from an emergency situation.

Cramping people in a small detention room under the pretext of maintenance is not acceptable. Detention should not be a tool for undermining the human rights of the detainees. Creating suitable and humanitarian conditions for detention is a basic human right. The traffic police should have observed this under any situations and circumstances.