Saudi Cabinet endorses prisoner-transfer treaty


The National Human Rights Society (NHRS) has urged the government to sign similar prisoner-transfer treaties with countries that have a large number of their nationals working in the Kingdom.

Bandar Al Hajjar, President of the Society, said that the treaty would allow foreigners who have served six months in a Saudi jail to complete their remaining jail sentence in their countries.

He emphasised the need for signing such treaties with countries such as India, Pakistan, the Philippines and Egypt, all of which have large numbers of their nationals working in Saudi Arabia.

Al Hajjar said that NHRS plans to release five new reports in a month in an effort to encourage government bodies to cooperate with human rights organisations in Saudi Arabia. The reports, which follow the first one that was released towards the end of May, will deal with specific issues concerning human rights in the Kingdom such as the municipal elections in 2005, Saudi Guantanamo detainees, complaints and cases handled by the Society , the accomplishments of its members, and a report on general NHRS statistics. Earlier, Al Hajjar, who is also a member of the Shoura Council, said that Shoura members asked for the previous NHRS report so they could discuss it.

Commenting on the cooperation of government bodies with the NHRS for its first report on the state of human rights in the country, Hussein Al Shareef of the Society said that it was unsatisfactory. “In general, the replies received by NHRS to its questions were not up to expectations,” he said. Al Shareef divided the responses by government bodies into three categories — those who responded quickly; those who responded but left some questions unanswered; and those who did not respond at all.

“The coming report will mention the degree of cooperation by each government body as well as the number of cases it received, the number of letters sent to it and the number of replies the NHRS got in return,” Al Shareef said.


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