2006 News Story

NSHR calls for improved conditions at Saudi traffic detention centers

The Kingdom’s National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) has requested that the General Administration of Traffic improve conditions at the Kingdom’s traffic detention centers, the Saudi Gazette reported May 9.

An NSHR committee conducting a surprise visit of centers in the Jeddah area stressed the need to improve maintenance, cleanliness, air conditioning systems and medical care for detainees at the facilities. The committee also called for a speedy formation of traffic courts.

In one center in eastern Jeddah, the committee found 16 deficiencies, most related to the poor air conditioning system, low standard of cleanliness and a lack of medical care for detainees.

Officials at a central Jeddah facility said that the center receives people involved in accidents, speeding violations as well as forgery. Those who are proven to be involved in forgery are sent to the general prison. The officials said that the detainees’ rights are upheld, and that they are allowed telephone contact with their families and sponsors. They also noted that detainees can report violations or complaints about the traffic police to a committee, which then probes the complaint.

The NSHR has said that it plans to continue its surprise inspections of traffic detention centers.