Christian arrested, tortured in Saudi Arabia

( [email protected] ) Apr 03, 2004 10:11 AM EST

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA -- A Christian ex-pat Indian national was arrested by the religious police on the streets of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Thursday, March 25, according to a report received by the Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC).

ICC was recently informed by a highly reputable source that the religious police (the Muttawa) abducted, imprisoned, and tortured Brian O'Connor in a Mosque and is presently being held at the Olaya police station in Riyadh.

The police at the Olaya police station state that he is being held on account of preaching Christianity, drug-related charges, and for selling liquor. They went on to add that the Muttawa brought up these charges, and they have no direct proof of the claims made by them. ICC reported that 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 three points and will be taken to court where the case would take about six to seven months before a verdict is issued.

O’Connor has received visitors and has communicated that his legs were chained and he was hung upside down and “they played football with [him]”.

“The Muttawa came in turns of fours and kicked me in the chest and rib area, and this continued up to 2 AM on Friday morning,” O’Connor stated. 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.

Currently, ICC and other human rights organizations are asking that the United States take serious action in demanding O’Connor’s release.