Confessions of an Innocent Man

Confessions of an Innocent ManThis raw exposé examines William Sampson’s harrowing experience while imprisoned in Saudi Arabia for a crime he didn’t commit.

Canadian William Sampson was a law-abiding citizen who moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to offer his expertise as a business consultant.

Then, in December 2000, he and several of his colleagues were suddenly arrested and charged for a violent terrorist bombing they did not commit.

Despite his plea of innocence and no evidence of guilt, Sampson was imprisoned and repeatedly tortured for almost three years until his captors got what they wanted from him: a confession.

With news of his shocking confession heard around the world, Sampson was sentenced to death. Receiving no help from his government, it appeared to be only a matter of time before another innocent man would die.

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Ratings: 8.58/10 from 26 users.

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49 Comments / User Reviews

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  1. Wilhelm Bubbla

    These Saudis are less than animals. They take depravity to a new level. How did two of their torturers get an erection, then rape a man? The U.S., Russia, the French, etc, need to unite and rid the planet of these savages.

  2. Guest

    I am liberal muslim , but if this Arabs give me every month 50.000 $ i will not work in country''s where is no democrasy and no respect for human rights.

    1. MillermanHH

      Well said my friend-If all Muslims felt the same way this world would be a nicer place.

  3. Highlander

    Powerful film and well produced . A vivid portrayal of a truly dreadful way to treat anyone, criminal or innocent . What does any government expect to achieve by the torture of any suspect ? Ineviitably there will be a few very badly damaged people who wish for retribution through the courts and "international justice " , eg , The Hague. Others witness the suffering of their countrymen and see it as a call to arms / jihad / martyrdom , call it anything you want , but the end result will be the same everytime . More killing . Great....... just what every nation needs ?

  4. HeySuze Christ

    Why did his dad have to call it a "dialing one"?
    We Canadians get made fun of enough :(

  5. rose

    Excellent presentation. Best wishes to Mr. Sampson. The Saudis are known, within and without their "kingdom" (how old is it now - 60 years?) ... for cruelty and barbarism.

  6. Samy Deeb

    Mr Sampson : you are not innocent man!....and you know it. Thousands of Europeans and Americans are working in Saudi and they are enjoying every minute of it, ..but not those who are involved in smuggling and locally transporting beer and booze!! and unfortunately you were one of them.

    1. Chakso

      He didn't get locked up and tortured for smuggling alcohol, He was framed for a terrorist bombing (that was the whole point of the documentary really)
      And even if he was arrest for smuggling alcohol would that really justify torture and 3 years imprisonment? Are you that inhumane?

    2. roxanne

      lol you just haven't been beaten yet

  7. scottyladdy

    This film is moving.At last the truth can be told.Thankyou to those who made this film, and especially for covering this subject so well.
    All torture is wrong, cruel and inhuman in my book whoever undertakes it.
    I cannot excuse the Americans either for what they have done to prisoners.They are supposed to show by example.I lived in Saudi and know of some really bad cases of mistreatment over there, and do really and truly understand the nature of the country. I am not against islam at all, and believe that following it does not make any culture 'backward'.
    Not all Saudis are torturers.I met some very kind people there.But you really are on your own if you have problems with the authorities.
    Does anyone have any idea how many indians/Phillipinos are wrongly accused and tortured in Saudi? There must be thousands with no voice...

  8. Martin Ellacott

    As a Canadian, I find it more than distressing that my Government didn't do more to have Samson released. As a citizen, he deserved far better treatment than he received at the hands of our Officials.

    I think the lesson here is not to go to an Islamic Theocracy for any reason....tourism , work, etc. These countries are governed by the rules set by bronze age savages that have yet to evolve.

    If these Third World sand pits didn't have oil, the would have nothing.....and to hell with the lot of them.

    1. Rohyp Gnosis

      (I agree if, of course, 'hell' existed!)

  9. GodmanEnki

    "Ruby Ridge, WACO," etc, goes to PROVE; IF you do not "agree with" or "accept" the fallacy of Jesus, the FBI CAN, and WILL, murder you, your children, and whomever else, is "with you." Whether YOU 'believe' David Koresh, or not. Those poor folks who's only "real crime" was having more "weapons" (minus the tanks) than did the FBI, AND, these poor "Devils" didn't buy into what's considered "common-knowledge." COMMON, is exactly 'what-it-is!" "Common-knowledge, CONJECTURE and "faith!"

    1. Thomas Moore

      It is amazing to me that Jesus gets blamed for the sin of Muhammad. He said that He would be hated and wrongly accused...guess Jesus was right.

    2. Rohyp Gnosis

      Oh Dear.... 'Religious Ignorance' has sooo much to answer for!!

  10. harry nutzack

    im of 2 minds in relation to sampson's tale of woe. i do sympathize with him over the fact he was railroaded, tortured, and locked in solitary for a few years. however, i also cant help but imagine what would have occurred to, say, a yemeni in NYC who had engaged in "bag handling" for a heroin ring. such a man would also face pretty much the same treatment at the hands of the NYPD. the rape of course would probably have come at the hands of a fellow prisoner (though the abner louima case makes the possibility it could also have come at the hands of cops all too believable as well), and after his confession our imaginary yemeni would most likely have ended up in population, assuming he wasnt handed over to the feds (long term solitary is VERY common in our federal prison system). mr sampson's involvement in smuggling and locally transporting beer and booze would pretty much be equivalent to a low level mule here in the states. the saudis would obviously be aware of such activities, even if they "turned a blind eye" to it. post 9-11, the yemeni would also have been charged with at least "material support of terrorism", if not a manufactured "conspiracy to commit". im no fan of the house of saud, but i see very little difference in the treatment of sampson, and the handling of hundreds, if not thousands of accused criminals here in the us every year. at least he was able to enjoy his single malt in edinburgh, a finale our imagined yemeni would NEVER experience if convicted of trafficing or terrorism (life without chance of parole in either case). one should also make note that the actions of sampson alone caused much of his post trial suffering. his "contempt of king, country, court and prophet" most likely landed him in solitary (his co-conspirators were allowed not only to be cellmates, but even the luxury of date wine), and his physical condition was obviously the result of his emulation of bobby sands and the rest of the "block h boys" of maise prison fame.

    1. Rohyp Gnosis

      Very good points! Take away the thin veneer of culture and/or religion and/or the prevalent media propaganda and we, all of us, act in pretty much predictable and similar ways when we find ourselves in either 'gaoler' or 'prisoner' mode. I live in the UK and Democracy is a total fallacy... There's simply been, and still is, an unending ebb & flow of individuals riding the waves of various cultural memes to exact control. It's the exact same all the world over!

  11. kist

    The British are not innocent.
    First of all the atrocities they committed in the past against mankind.
    They created the biggest fiasco and the world is still paying the price. The case of the innocent women and children of palestine.
    They are not innocent!!

    1. Cristi Vidrascu

      kist, your first sentence exemplifies exactly what is keeping your people in the dark, and will eventually commit them to the trash bin of history. Where civilization flourishes in other societies, where people are treated as individuals, one could even say created by a loving god, your view of the world is radically different, and in your world people are merely an interchangeable dehumanized part of a tribe.

    2. morsiezzanati

      Cristi, i have been reading the comments and i can't help but to express my awe at the level of ignorance of this forum. Most of the ppl here are regurgitating propaganda from hollywood and other shady sources. This not to defend the Saudi Justice system but to point out how misinformation and media have skewed the western perspective on middle east issues to the point where you/they come in with a predisposed position. I ask you this; What about the 100s of thousands who died in Iraq? Do you feel the same way about them or is your humanity restricted to certain breed of people?.

    3. Tarquin Mahoney

      an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind...

  12. Hammer2Fall

    William Sampson died 28 March 2012, aged 52. A thought provoking documentary with a warning to foreign diplomats working in Saudi!

  13. Pete Leclair

    For many years Western people have always dreamed of Big Oil and lucrative contracts from afar.The problem here is that when rules of another society are blatanly broken whos to say that these rules broken are going to make a mockery of these foreign laws.The elite billionaires no doubt break these rules on a daily basis and the power from money and political contacts is what prevents these tycoons from the laws or justice system.These unfortunate men were being made as examples and if the facts that are facts and the prisoners who were tortured for over a week and when they broke and wrote confessions clearly the torture technique was the factor.When mentioning of abuse we think of rape and that is a voodoo even to the most hardened of men.I for one under every opportunity that would come before me as mentioned a visit from The members of Canadian Government would have jumped at the opportunity and yelled "I have been Tortured and Raped".Does anyone expect me to believe that after such horrible inhumane treatment recieved bye these immoral, corrupt people,would fear any more torture.Once the cat is let out of the bag.These men would have recieved near immediate response,What did they have to lose? The Saudi Government would have faced a very serious blow if in fact this treatment would have been exposed immediately.The problem here is that after hundreds of days to finally tell what happened would very seriously put a doubt or ? mark and clearly this could have played a role in either a release or mental hospital.This is a sickening behavior that is happening even while i type and my heart goes out to those men who suffered such horrible nitemares and still suffer.No Doubt.I finally would say that if I were planning any foreign visit that I would have my family and friends demand to know where i was after say 3 days of no contact,These men clearly had an attitude when they were drinking,smuggling boose in a country that forbids it.In fact people are beheaded every day for less offences.In final I say respect the laws of the country u visit because when u do u get respect.These men were disrespectful towards another law and when it is so blatant whos to say they may be willing to chance and break other laws.You are judged bye your peers and breaking the laws of those peers puts a big X on your forehead.They should have told of the torture the first chance they had.They had nothing more to lose .YOU THINK?

  14. Herald

    Why anybody with a sane mind would ever go to Saudi Arabia beats me. The Saudis hire many domestic workers from poor countries to work as maids. Most of these domestic workers end up either raped or dead or both. The domestic workers come from poor families so their governments are afraid of upsetting the Saudi govt so they never demand justice. I'd never set foot in Saudi Arabia.

    1. Angela A

      Me too what horrible people

    2. morsiezzanati

      Herald, I'm not sure where you get your info. from but i urge not to depend on Hollywood or these documentaries as a source of information. Without setting a foot in Saudi i'm afraid you will always be less-informed.

    3. Martin Ellacott

      I wouldn't set foot in any Islamic theocracy....too many things could go wrong.

    4. Gary McCurry

      no matter where you are, inhumane authority is everywhere just as evil as existed since the beginning of mankind.

  15. Arnab Banerjee

    why it is that in muslim countries innocent people are killed in the name of justice? is it a characteristic of islam, the sign of enormous stupidity or else?

    1. Tarnsy

      This is no different from how any other nation treats certain perceived threats. There are many cases in which Canadians are arrested in America for crimes which don't exist north of the border and their government is too worried about policy to help it's citizens out. Then in America we have Gitmo still running, and that place is only an example of one such publicly known location where tortures occur and people are held without trial. Then you've got your Bradley Mannings and your Julian Assanges, no justice there. One need look no further than the National Defense Authorization Act when it comes down to it. This act was just signed into existence in time for 2012, and it's a clear example of how the west isn't interested in true justice either. I don't condone any of the above, and what happened in Saudi to those poor fellows makes me ill, but don't be naive and think it's restricted to the middle east.

    2. Mohammed Aldabal

      Dear,,,this is unjust what the saudi did to fellow Canadian, but Canadian government, Us government, middle Eastern, far Eastern & many governments have many innocent citizens of their own in Jail. Let us look at this issue how to protect individual citizens from unjust law enforcement institutions.

    3. kist

      Either that is feeble attempt at cheap propaganda or you are genuinely ignorant of what really the British did in the past to your women and children too!!

  16. PavolvsBitch

    Very welcome as expose on the sham of internment ala Gitmo Bay Global; to break your manhood and spirit, join the military and get to do this to others. He's done us a service by revealing this unholy collusion.

  17. PavolvsBitch

    They have always found it profitable to hold whites to ransom for extortionate rates. The Foreign Office makes no distinction between their common practises and a man on the receiving end of their private sports. Harsh but true.

    Mohamidism insists on 5 prayer sessions a day, now what sort of 'voluntary faith' is that? If they had faith, they wouldn't need to be continually programmed. They are programmed to subservience to orders through a brutalising process which ensures a hatred of women (supported by pornographic violence). I don't like the look of that 'trauma nurse' the terror in the eyes of that child he's holding in the first clip of him; then he betrays his 'friends' at the off, which is so typical.

    And to think this is just 'fore-play' to the 2001 joint venture 'war on terra'. We'll blame yours and you can blame ours, see? Wish they'd stop this Osama bin Laden BS who DIED in 2001 as well. Downloading and attempting to watch this docu is torture itself; no matter which way i try. Anyway, Mohamadism is the Obama, British Royal Family and Parliamentarian religion of choice, as is the Pope's; The Vatican created Islam as a fighting religion, much as the Romans created Christianity as a unification cult. Cutthroat bandits and excellent horsemen, VatCity used Mohamidians to recaputure Jerusalem then realised all too late, the dog which bites the hand feeding it.

  18. PavolvsBitch

    The House of Saud is foul to the same degree as Israel; they are blood brothers united on a global Jihad against christianity. Trouble is, Westerners have little idea of history and how these Mohamadins or Barbarians continually raided, kidnapped, traded and enslaved to death up to a million white christians from coastal regions of Europe or hi jacked en route to the colonies for sale and enslavement their. The methods of these barbarian tribes involve anal rapes and all manner of humiliating abuse as well as the worst tortures that psychopaths can devise. No better, no worse than the British Royals (counterparts) or any Elite Militia.

    There was no shortage of booze for the Brits whilst I was in UAE itself and the ex pat community were a bunch of twats, lording over the little Philipino servants. But Riyadh was totally dry. The Arabs love their scotch and little blonde children and are some of the filthiest, laziest corrupt specimens of criminality on the planet.

  19. davy11

    poor william. he was propper up ****creek without a paddle. shame on uk and canadian governments

  20. Khaled El Sharawy

    The horrible truth..

  21. rundownthestreet202

    Rest in peace William.

  22. Malchik

    Canada has done nothing to try and help it's citizen. It makes me sick to my stomach.

    But don't open yourself up to problems when in a dry country...

    1. bbchris69

      Let me guess.... your american? I hope not because if u wanna talk about sick we can start by talking about the thousands of countless horrors your country has inflicted on the rest of the world and its own citizens.Oh and how bout u look up how many cases like this the american gov. has brushed off and any other country.Canada has a reputation to be Very liked around the world...thats why americans put canadian flags on their backpacks when they go on they dont get shot in the head...ignorant fool...

    2. Malchik

      I'm Canadian, you sperg. The government turned a blind eye to their citizen, end of story. They checked on him twice, asked questions about his living condition in front of his captors that could have jeopardize his welfare, and ignored the pleads he had made to other embassy officials and Canadian medical personnel.

      Maybe you shouldn't make assumptions? Try and keep the knee-jerk reactions under control, and keep that patriotic anus puckered.

  23. Revilo

    Story of my life... I'm a target of what can be described as a modern day witch burning, in Toronto. The torture and imprisonment I endure has been "scaled" back (by law) to no longer exist as physically abusive as the torture detailed here. However ,left wide open, remain the other forms of violence (namely psychological and emotional), available to any angry mob, that ordains itself "above the law". Which unfortunately, in my situation are the towns people of a metropolis, and in Williams situation, the government of Saudi Arabia.

    I consider myself lucky tho, that the people in my life that do such things to me (that are of the same mentality, that is portrayed in this doc) are not armed with the weapons used on William Sampson. As well, I am thankful for the availability of knowledge and wisdom that comes from stories like this, that show the world, the humanity, and the inhumanity within it.

    Give us another cupple centuries, and hopefully there will be no want or need for violence, of any kind.

    Great Doc!

  24. bobbyb9331

    Rest In Peace William, it is unfair that the truth was never Told

  25. Rocky Racoon

    The Chicken **** Canadian government does squat for you if you are not connected. In fact they will help extradite you for things that are practically legal here like selling marijuana seeds see the Marc Emery case. But the Canadian government just let a convicted criminal into Canada one who had renounced his Canadian citizenship while on his high horse stealing from his company. He stole workers pension funds and called them lazy welfare bums.
    That is the kind of company our government likes to keep.

  26. dewflirt

    You think torture doesn't work because if you beat someone hard enough they'll say anything, but isn't that the point? They didn't care about the truth, they just needed those men to back up their version of it. As for the British government, unsurprising. All I can think is good on him for the dirty protest. I hope he keeps throwing 'til something sticks. A single malt on a windy hill, what a thing to cling to. I hope it sustains him.

    1. David Rodrigues

      just like americans do

    2. dewflirt

      Just as they all do. Can't think of one that works for it people. Would be nice to think it was anything but luck that got him out of there but it would only be wishful thinking.

    3. dewflirt

      I have deleted your other comment from my email, shall we forget it ever happened ? ;)

  27. white_gazelle

    What William Sampson went through is beyond what words can describe. His soul was butchered and marred forever. There are many others like him- the thousands of innocent detainees after 9/11 who suffered inexplicable horrors. The chain reaction has been set off long back by the Israel-Palestine conflict and it is now a senseless, cold and vengeful human blood war that continues. There is only one way this can be resolved- justice for human rights and compassion for human life. No government today represents the true culture or religion of any country. Governments do not represent anybody, just their dirty self-serving agenda.