Saudi Arabia is torturing hundreds of Rohingya detainees to force them to end a hunger strike they have staged to oppose their indefinite detention or potential deportation from the Persian Gulf Arab kingdom, a report says.
According to a report by the Middle East Eye on Wednesday, some 650 male members of the Rohingya Muslim minority began a hunger strike in the Shumaisi detention center in the western Saudi port city of Jeddah on Saturday, the third such strike in recent months.
Most of them have been in detention without trial or charge since 2012, with some of them having developed mental health conditions due to their prolonged detention.
Saudi authorities accuse most of the Rohingya people of having provided fake documentation in a bid to enter the Arab country for work and also to flee the harsh conditions they faced back in Myanmar, their country of origin.
Myanmar has for decades refused to offer the Rohingya passports. Many of the Rohingya locked up in the Shumaisi detention center entered Saudi Arabia with Bangladeshi passports, while others came with documents from different South Asian countries, including Bhutan, India, Pakistan, and Nepal.
‘They are trying to make it as difficult as possible’
Saudi authorities reportedly intend to deport the Rohingya detainees to those countries, even if they have never been there before. It was not clear whether the countries would take them, and what conditions await the Rohingya if they did.