Category: Arabnews

  • HRC makes 857 prison visits

    Wed, 2017-07-12 03:00

    JEDDAH: The Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC) released its report on the 857 visits it has made to prisons and detention centers across the Kingdom last year.
    The commission said that the visits checked whether all prisoners and detainees enjoy all their rights guaranteed to them by Islamic law and the applicable regulations, and the appropriateness of these with international standards.
    The number of visits made to general prisons stood at 209; to Mabahith prisons 225; and 398 to detention centers. In addition, the number of visits made to girls’ shelter houses stood at 25.
    The commission confirmed it observed overcrowding at these prisons and detention centers with inmate numbers exceeding the allocated capacity; extended periods of investigation exist which exceed the regulatory time in some instances; and some cases are backlogged because of delays in court scheduling.
    The commission also noted inadequate health care services provided to prisoners and sought to address this issue and the others in cooperation with the relevant bodies.

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  • Four Saudis executed for terrorist acts in Qatif

    Mohammed Al-Sulami
    Wed, 2017-07-12 00:44

    JEDDAH: Four Saudi nationals convicted of terrorism in Qatif have been executed, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Interior announced on Tuesday.
    The four — Zaher Abdul Rahim Hussein Al-Basri, Mahdi Mohammed Hassan Al-Sayegh, Amjad Naji Hassan Al-Muaibeed and Yousef Ali Abdullah Al-Mushaikhees — were handed death sentences for involvement in shootings and trading weapons aimed at destabilizing the country.
    Al-Basri had pleaded guilty to working against the government, shooting at the Qatif police station and security patrols, participating in riots, receiving training on how to use Molotov cocktails, and firing machine-guns at the Tarout police station and its security patrols.
    The judge also found Al-Mushaikhees guilty for firing twice at the Al-Awamiyah police station, wounding two security men. He also opened fire on security men during a security raid and reported the movements of Saudi security forces to terrorist group.
    Al-Sayegh took part in attacks against security forces, and also used Molotov cocktails in targeting security men and the Qatif court building. He obtained a number of weapons and ammunition, participated in riots and sought to cause strife within the country. He was also guilty of drug abuse, trafficking and training with a terrorist group.
    Al-Muaibeed joined a terrorist group planning to attack Tarout police station, and detonated a gas cylinder near the station. Al-Muaibeed also received training on the usage of machine-guns and pistols, and participated in demonstrations aimed at hindering security patrols.

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    One security man, two civilians injured in separate Qatif shootings
    Saudi policeman killed, 6 wounded in Qatif bomb attack
    Arab, Muslim leaders strongly condemn terror attack in Qatif

  • Saudi Arabia approves physical education program in girls’ schools

    Tue, 2017-07-11 22:57

    JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education (MoE) has approved a physical education program at girls’ schools starting in the coming academic year.
    Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa issued a decree on Tuesday, under which classes will be gradually implemented starting in the 2017-2018 school year.
    Schools with the means to provide gyms of the required standard must also provide sufficient and qualified instructors suited for the task.
    The move is linked to the goal of boosting sporting activities among all members of Saudi society, one of the targets of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan.
    The education minister’s decision includes the formation of a supervisory committee to implement the program, headed by Haya bint Abdul Aziz Al-Awwad, the undersecretary of education for girls.
    The committee is to develop a document containing objectives and performance indicators for the program, in addition to preparing an interim operational plan and working with universities.
    The decision comes after three months of intensive studies by a specialized team commissioned by the minister to review all directives and recommendations in this regard.
    Lina K. Almaeena, a Shoura Council member, said the move was one of the benefits of the Vision 2030 and National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020 initiatives.
    “I’m very happy with the issue of the decree and this is a historic day for all Saudi girls in the Kingdom,” she said.
    “I’m very thankful to the MoE and Princess Reema bint Bandar, deputy at the General Sports Authority. I’ve been working for over a decade in the private sector and private schools and this is a historic decree for all schools, public and private.”

    When asked whether the decree was timed well, Almaeena said: “I’m an optimist and rather than looking back, we should all look forward. We don’t have the logistics, location or setting and a decree such as this is not as easy as many believe it is. They certainly took their time to review all recommendations in terms of technicalities for implementing health education programs in girls’ schools.”
    Sultan A.J., a banker and a father to a 7-year-old boy and 5-year old girl, said he was “extremely optimistic” about the news.
    “I now know that my daughter will have the same opportunities as my son when it comes to sports-related activities in school,” he said.
    “I already have my young daughter in an afternoon school program to keep her active and she loves playing gymnastics and swimming. With this decree I’m sure my daughter will finally enjoy her time in school along with her school friends and build a good understanding as to what being healthy is all about.”
    Fitness and health trainers have also welcomed the decree, with many having provided private classes to young girls for some time. “Keeping young girls active not only helps with their physical shape but also enables them to think more toward a healthier lifestyle,” said Nouf Hamadallah, a certified health and fitness trainer in Jeddah.
    “My two daughters love to dance and stay active; I’m fortunate that my girls’ school has a physical education class but it’s a shame others don’t. With this decree, more young girls will have the chance now to grow to love something that is new but will help them keep healthy and stay strong as they grow. Not only do my girls learn from me, they have the opportunity to learn from their school as well; now all Saudi girls can have that same chance.”
    Many Saudis and expats living in the Kingdom have shown their support for the MoE’s decree — but there are some who do not agree.
    “I don’t think it’s right for a young girl to take a sports class in school, she will grow harsh and rough, which goes against her delicate nature,” said Mohammed M.S., a longtime banker. “I won’t deny my daughter’s participation in any (physical education) related activities in school but I will draw a line somewhere.”
    Many young girls in Saudi Arabia are big fans of local soccer teams and US basketball teams as well as some legendary tennis players.
    Maymoona Sultan, a ninth-grade student in Riyadh, loves playing tennis and has attended a summer camp over the past two years.
    “I hope my school opens a tennis class since the game is not only very active, it’s extremely fun to throw a ball around and test your strength,” she said. “My mom told me about the decree and I’m happy that more girls will get to understand about sports and health like me.”

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    Saudi Arabia sends 4 female athletes to Rio
    Saudi Arabia to start granting female gym licenses this month
    Saudi princess appointed to oversee women’s sports sector

  • Cabinet welcomes selection of Prince Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince

    Arab News
    Tue, 2017-07-11 03:00

    RIYADH: King Salman and Cabinet members have welcomed the selection of Prince Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince, deputy premier, and continuing as minister of defense and other missions assigned to him.
    Chairing the Cabinet session on Monday at the Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, the king also expressed thanks to Prince Mohammed bin Naif for his efforts in the service of the religion and the Kingdom.
    The Cabinet appreciated the king’s invitation to hold a Saudi-African summit in the Kingdom at the end of the current year or beginning of 2018, and praised the welcome expressed by leaders of the G-20 Summit for the Kingdom’s hosting of the G-20 Summit in 2020 which came on the directives of King Salman.
    The Cabinet expressed thanks to participants of the G-20 Summit for their appreciation of the Kingdom’s efforts in combating terrorism. They stressed that fighting terrorism and promoting values of moderation are an international responsibility requiring effective cooperation among all states as terrorism has no religion and it targets the world.
    They also praised the king’s approval on adopting public health as a policy and priority in all laws and regulations for disease control and prevention. This reflects the attention of the leadership to the health of citizens and for providing medical care for them.
    On regional issues, the Cabinet expressed thanks to the king for directing the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid (KSRelief) to urgently fight and contain cholera in Yemen, and to the crown prince for providing $66.7 million as a response to WHO and UNICEF’s appeals to fight cholera in Yemen.
    On the security front, the Cabinet commended security authorities for thwarting an imminent terror act targeting the Grand Mosque during Ramadan and arresting five members of the terror group. The Cabinet also condemned the terror acts that targeted security patrols in Qatif province which resulted in the martyrdom of two security men and injuries to others. They stressed the capability of security authorities in confronting criminal plans and strictly dealing with those who try to tamper with the Kingdom’s safety and stability.
    The Cabinet also explored the joint statement issued by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain after receiving the Qatari response from Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, emir of Kuwait. The Cabinet expressed thanks to the Kuwaiti emir for his efforts to resolve the crisis with the Qatari government within the framework of his keenness toward the unity of Gulf and Arab ranks. The Cabinet said measures taken by the four countries are directed at the Qatari government to correct its path, which seeks to break up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and destabilize the countries in the region by intervening in their affairs.
    The Cabinet also expressed Kingdom’s strong condemnation of terror acts in Sinai, Egypt, and on a camp in Anbar, Iraq, reiterating the country’s solidarity with the Egyptian and Iraqi peoples and governments, and its firm positions against terrorism and extremism.
    Later, the Cabinet approved a series of decisions:
    • The Cabinet authorized the minister of environment, water and agriculture, or whomever he authorizes, to discuss with the Djibouti side a draft memo of understanding in the area of environment between the Saudi and Djibouti governments.
    • The Cabinet approved a cooperation agreement between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Malta in the area of sea transport.
    • The Cabinet approved an agreement between the Saudi and Jordanian governments to avoid double taxation and tax evasion on income tax.
    • The Cabinet approved two labor and domestic worker agreements between the Saudi and Cambodian governments.
    • The Cabinet approved a cooperation agreement in the area of labor between the Saudi and Lebanese governments.
    • The Cabinet authorized the minister of culture and information and board chairman of Saudi Press Agency, or whomever he authorizes, to discuss with the Bangladeshi side a memo of understanding for cooperation and exchange of news between the two news agencies of the two countries.
    • The Cabinet approved the establishment of an industrial city in the Eastern Province to be named “the city of industrial energy” with the allocation of a land covering an area of 50 square km, from lands reserved for Saudi Aramco in the eastern region. The Cabinet approved a proposal offered by Saudi Aramco for the establishment of a company to undertake the development of infrastructure of the industrial energy city, and another company to operate and maintain the city.

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  • IDB chief calls for fight against poverty, unemployment among youths in member countries

    Arab News
    Tue, 2017-07-11 03:00

    RIYADH: Dr. Bandar Hajjar, president of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, has called for fighting poverty and unemployment among youths in member countries.
    Hajjar’s remarks were delivered at a reception organized by the IDB to honor the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
    Of the 1.75 billion young people in the world, 500 million, or nearly 28.5 percent, live in OIC member countries, Hajjar said.
    He stressed the need to unite to harness the potentials of young people to become active components of the community.
    The IDB chief said there are 73 million unemployed youths in OIC member countries, and the IDB organized a youth summit during the 42nd session of the IDB board of directors in Jeddah last May. The summit recommended the establishment of a youth forum to enhance solidarity, cooperation and exchange of knowledge among youths of member countries.
    He said the bank is currently reviewing its projects in member countries to ensure their feasibility. The bank has approved SR4.08 billion ($1.09 billion) to support development projects in some of its member countries. The projects cover electricity, water and sewage, industry, housing, telecommunications, agriculture and health, in addition to educational and health projects to a number of Muslim communities in non-member countries.

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  • One security man, two civilians injured in separate Qatif shootings

    Tue, 2017-07-11 03:00

    JEDDAH: One security man and two civilians were injured Sunday evening in different shooting incidents in Qatif by unknown persons.
    Police in Eastern Province are investigating the shootings and are hunting the assailants.
    Eastern Province Police spokesman Lt. Col. Ziyad Al-Ruqaiti said one security man was targeted while driving his private vehicle on an agricultural road in Qatif province which resulted in his injury from a broken windshield. His condition is stable. “Qatif police are trying to determine the motives and the involved persons,” added Al-Ruqaiti.
    In another shooting incident, the media spokesman said Qatif police on Sunday afternoon received two reports coming from Qatif Central Hospital stating that medical staff had treated two citizens suffering gunshot-related injuries from an unknown source near their homes in Awamiyah town.
    Al- Ruqiati said investigators took statements from the wounded and collected information on the offenders to complete the investigation and bring the criminals to justice.
    Qatif last week witnessed several terrorist attacks on security men which resulted in the martyrdom, of two and the injury of six of their colleagues.

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  • Half a ton of hashish, 63,000 Captagon pills seized

    Tue, 2017-07-11 03:00

    JEDDAH: Border Guards last week foiled an attempt to smuggle more than half a ton of hashish, and 63,000 Captagon pills across the southern border, arresting 19 smugglers in the operation.
    Border Guards spokesman Col. Saher bin Mohammed Al-Harbi said: “Several people were spotted trying to infiltrate the border into the Kingdom coming from Yemen, to smuggle narcotics and spread these toxins among the children of our country. And as such situations require, the Border Guard dealt with the smugglers and arrested 14 Ethiopians and 5 Yemenis involved in the attempt. The total amount of seized drugs amounted to 543,200 kg of hashish and 63,260 Captagon pills.”
    Al-Harbi confirmed the Border Guards will stand firmly in the face of all smuggling attempts across the borders and will work with determination to protect the country against all threats to its security and stability.

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  • Joint statement by Anti-Terror Quartet on leaked CNN documents

    Arab News
    Tue, 2017-07-11 02:54

    JEDDAH: The Anti-Terror Quartet, (Saudi Arabia - Bahrain - UAE and Egypt), released a statement on Monday, saying leaked documents released by CNN show, without doubt, Qatar’s failure to meets its obligations.

    The ATQ statement via the Saudi Press Agency:

    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Arab Republic of Egypt issued a joint statement, which reads as follows:
    The four countries assert that the documents published by CNN, including the Riyadh Agreement (2013), its Executive Mechanism and the Riyadh Supplementary Agreement (2014), confirm beyond any doubt Qatar's failure to meet its commitments and its full violation of its pledges.
    The four states emphasize that the 13 demands submitted to the Qatari government were to fulfill their previous pledges and commitments and that the demands were originally stated in the Riyadh Agreement, its mechanism and the Supplementary Agreement and are fully in line with the spirit of what was agreed upon.

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    CNN obtains leaked documents which reveal Qatar reneged on GCC commitments

  • Jeddah community shows solidarity with families of martyrs

    Mon, 2017-07-10 03:00

    JEDDAH: Under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of interior, Jeddah Community Services on Saturday expressed their solidarity with the families of martyrs and paid tribute by holding Jeddah’s largest festival on Saudi armed forces and martyrs.
    The event was attended by Prince Bandar bin Nasser, chairman of the Supreme Committee of Pride and Honor for Martyrs; Maj. Gen. Saad Al-Qarni, commander of the Western Region army; authorities and officials from the army, navy and Saudi Aramco; and more than 2,000 relatives of martyrs.
    Prince Bandar said that the organization of such programs is only a small tribute to salute the soldiers who lost their lives defending the sovereignty of the nation and protecting the country.
    Fahd Al-Samhan, chairman of the organizing committee, said: “It’s a small effort from us to say thank you for the sacrifice they made for the country, and we will continually remember them.”

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