Tag Archives: Riyadh

Why Saudi Arabia women languish in jail

DAMMAM  – Having a guardian’s consent is a prerequisite for the release of female prisoners who have completed their jail terms. Current prison and detention regulations forbid keeping anyone in jail after they have served their sentences but nearly 35 percent of female prisoners remain incarcerated after finishing their jail terms because they are rejected by their families, Al-Sharq newspaper reported Friday.

Many families sever ties with their daughters because the crimes they committed had brought shame on them, especially in cases involving honor. Statistics indicate that 104 out of 196, or 53 percent, of inmates in women’s care institutions were involved in honor crimes while 10 percent involved in murder cases.

Calls for allocating homes for released female prisoners have lately become more and more vocal. These homes, which are to fall under state supervision, will offer both shelter and social protection to released prisoners. The calls were made because current regulations do not compel guardians to receive female relatives released from prison if the guardians renounce the relationship and sever all ties with them.

In other cases, female prisoners fear returning home and facing their families. They are afraid that they might fall victim to violence. In both cases, the female inmate is in a state of loss and prefers to remain away from society.

According to a recent statement made by the Directorate General of Prisons, prison administrations throughout the Kingdom try repeatedly to convince families to accept their relatives released from prison, so they can be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society but in the absence of laws protecting the rights of inmates, these efforts are wasted.

The task of caring for female prisoners lies with the National Committee for the Care of Prisoners’ Families and Persons Released (Tarahum). There are institutions that provide care to female prisoners in Riyadh, Makkah, Al-Ahsa and Abha.

According to a report issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs for 2011-2012, the number of female beneficiaries in these four institutions stood at 1,521, an increase of 299 inmates compared to the previous year. Over 1,312 female inmates were admitted to these institutions in 2012-2013.



Saudi Arabia: Islamic Police Arrest Man Giving Out Free Hugs


Saudi arrested giving free hugs

Free hugs are Unislamic. There is no hugging in Islam.

A man who decided to offer ‘free hugs’ in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh has been arrested by the state’s religious police.

Abdulrahman al-Khayyal went out onto the streets along with a friend carrying a placard saying ‘free hugs’, apparently inspired by a viral video of a campaign posted on YouTube earlier this week.

In that video Bandr al-Swed was filmed hugging young men, in a three minute clip that racked up over a million views in three days.

Inspired by the cuddling campaign, 21-year-old Al-Khayyal announced on Twitter that he was going to offer free hugs in Tahliya, one of the main shopping streets.

However the two men were arrested and their ‘free hugs’ banners seized, CNN Arabic reported.

Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice arrested the two men in Riyadh for violating local laws and engaging in “exotic practices”, Al Hayat newspaper said. They were then made to sign a pledge that they would not go out again.

The religious police in Saudi Arabia are tasked with enforcing the government’s Sharia law.

They are also known as the Mutaween and empowered to stop unrelated men and women socialising with each other, as well as any homosexual activity and prostitution. They enforce strict Islamic dress codes and dietary rules.

They have come under heavy criticism in the past, most notably in March 2002, when they prevented schoolgirls from escaping a burning school in Mecca because they were not wearing headscarves and abayas (black robes) and accompanied by a male guardian. Fifteen girls died and 50 were injured as a result.

If you’re willing to burn teenage girls to death because they’re covered up enough, then you’re really not going to be on board with hugs.

Saudi Arabia:Pakistan made atom bombs upon request



Kingdom has allegedly financed nuclear arms made in Pakistan, the BBC reports.

A motorcyclist looks at an Iranian-made Ghadr-F missile during a war exhibition

A motorcyclist looks at an Iranian-made Ghadr-F missile during a war exhibition Photo: Reuters

Saudi Arabia has reportedly financed Pakistani-developed nuclear weapons, and the kingdom devises Islamabad will provide it atomic bombs upon request, the BBC reported Wednesday night.

The Gulf states have been concerned about Iran and its mission to extend its influence throughout the region. The worry has increased alongside the continued debate on the possibility of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons capabilities.

If what sources told the BBC is true, the kingdom may engage in a nuclear arms race to counter its main regional adversary, Iran, by acquiring such capabilities before the Islamic Republic.

The BBC report cited a senior NATO official as saying he had seen intelligence reports that Saudi-backed atomic weapons made in Pakistan had been developed and were allegedly ready for delivery to Riyadh.

In 2011, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki al-Faisal said his country might produce nuclear weapons if Iran got them.

The report also cited comments made by former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin pointing toward Saudi Arabia’s quest to counter Iranian nuclear weapons.

If Tehran produces an atomic bomb, “the Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring,” the BBC quote Yadlin as saying at a conference in Sweden last month.

The Guardian reported in 2010 that Western intelligence officials believed Pakistan promised to provide Saudi Arabia with nuclear weapons in the case of a crisis.

Meanwhile, Iran was due to meet with so-called P5+1 powers on Thursday and Friday in the second round of negotiations on its disputed nuclear program.

Iran’s foreign minister said on Thursday, an agreement that would open the door to a resolution of the decade-long nuclear standoff between Iran and six world powers is possible this week if negotiators exert the maximum efforts.

“If everyone tries their best we may have one,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters after a breakfast meeting with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

“We expect serious negotiations. It’s possible,” he said when asked if an agreement was conceivable at Thursday-Friday talks between Iran and the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany.

Ariel Ben Solomon and Reuters contributed to this report.