10 Nefarious Secret Police Forces Throughout History

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8. The Mabahith (1924-present)

The longest-running secret police force on this list belongs to Saudi Arabia, a nation known for its bizarre commitment to tyranny. More formally known as al-Mabahit al-Ammah, or the General Investigation Directorate, the Mabahith are so paranoid about controlling the Saudi populace that even kids are detained without trial and subject to ongoing torture. At least 12 have been sentenced to death.

In September 2014, 13-year-old Murtaja Algariras became yet another shameful statistic, arrested for traveling to see his father in Bahrain without first notifying the state. The boy spent a month in solitary confinement and a total of two years and eight months in prison—all without formal charge or trial. During this time he was mercilessly beaten and tortured.

All of this was of course in direct contravention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the UN Human Rights Council—of which Saudi Arabia remains a curiously oblivious member.

Last year, aged just 16, Murtaja was moved to a notorious Mabahith-controlled prison, where further torture will likely secure the confessions needed to convict him and maybe even sentence him to death.

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