Petition update

Dar Al Reaya or Dar Al Nightmare?

Thobeka Felicia
South Africa

Feb 13, 2018 — I want to tell you guys about a truth that still exists. I do so in the hopes that the awareness grows around the world and I do this on behalf of the many Saudi arabian female and male activists, as well as abused individuals who are prohibited to spread the truth and have been temporary or even permanently silenced to do so.

So for those of you who are wondering what the title was all about. Im going to tell you about a female prison known as Dar Al Reaya. This prison holds the majority of the victims we see on our news outlets and social media. This is where most of them dissappear too.

Dar Al Reaya is a female prison system that is accountable for holding majority of female victims who have done no wrong. The females that are being held are mostly imprisoned for reporting an abuse, a crime or for simply advocating or enjoying the luxuries of being a woman. Most of the time, the women are taken by FORCE to Dar Al reaya as they are seen as shameful beings in their society. Sometimes the women have no choice but to go there due to the protection services that are not offered for them. Mention the place "Dar Al Reaya" to a saudi female and watch them cringe as they try to dissociate themselves from even mentioning that place.

The conditions of the prison include:

* Small room, 1 window, a bed, a Quran and a toilet if you're lucky. Some cells do not have such luxuries, forcing women to unhealthy practices of hygiene. The cells are not cleaned, it stinks and there are rodents.

*No form of rehabilitation whatsover. Infact, the only thing one is exposed to within the prison is the Quran apparently and thats it.

*Many women in the prison have exhibited pyschological and mental distresses overtime. One victim who was able to explain how the prison was like, mentioned hearing the women in other cells screaming, cursing themselves for death, talking to themselves, crying and making animal noises. 

*Dar Al Reaya operates in a sense that you have two options: get sold off to a male guardian who is probably religious, controlling and abusive OR stay in their prison for LIFE.

* Phones, communicating devices etc are prohibited hence that is why we never hear from ANY of the reported missing women.

*Women held in the prison include: victims of rape from male guardian or general crime, women activists and women charged for petty activities such as the wrong dress code or not seen with a guardian or reporting an abuse.

*Incest has also been reported where male guardians would rape their daughters within the prison.

*Women often recieve lashes too depending on the extent of her "rebellion". It could be a lash per day or per month.

There is more that meets the eye but I have told you some of the things that have been an occurence within that prison.

As much as the state is trying to move forward to giving women their rights such as driving, watching sports matches etc. Let us not forget that "driving" and "watching" sports is the last thing on any victims mind. Basic needs such as protection and the right to have ones autonomy must be a priority.

Let us become voices for these victims who cannot call for help any longer. Let us become their pillars and fight against an injustice that seems to be a norm of which prohibits Saudi citizens from enjoying their beautiful country. Peace is what we strive for but Peace means nothing if only a few out of a handful recieve its entitlements.

Please share this and sign the petition as change MUST happen and until it does, our voices shall remain.

P.S I will follow up on the post when I am done with the talks with organisations.

God bless!

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