‘We buried five workers alive’

Updated 16 March 2014
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‘We buried five workers alive’

Three men confessed in the Qatif General Court on Wednesday to torturing five Asian workers for hours and then burying them alive, according to local media.
The decomposing bodies of the five Asian workers, believed to be Indian nationals, were found on a farm in Safwa, Qatif, earlier this month. They were killed in 2010.
The Eastern Province police have arrested 25 people in connection with the killing of the five Asian workers, a source said on Wednesday.
The suspects include expatriates and citizens. They are being held at Safwa police station.
One man, describing events four years ago, said he was driving around with a friend using drugs and alcohol when he received a call from another friend at around 10 p.m. who asked to see him immediately at a farm.
“We had alcohol with us when we arrived at the farm,” he said.
“We saw five workers with their hands tied in the seating area. When the friend with me asked why they were tied, our host said that one of them had sexually harassed his sponsor’s daughter and other women,” the man told the court.
“I saw that the five Indian workers were tied and unconscious, just before we went to another room to drink alcohol and smoke hashish. While we were drinking, I heard one of them screaming so I went out and slapped him in the face,” he said.
“Later the friend who came with me left the room with a stick and hit the worker until he bled. We then took them all into another room,” he said.
“The three of us continued beating the workers on different parts of their bodies while continuing to drink and smoke,” the man said.
“We kept drinking, smoking and beating them,” he said.
“Our host suggested we bury them alive in a hole behind the entrance gate of the farm,” he said.
“We tied them again with ropes and adhesive tape so they could not move,” he said.
The man said their host brought his pickup truck and the three loaded the workers onto it. They then dumped them into a 2.5-meter-deep hole, he said.
“We buried them alive with all their identity cards. At the time for the dawn prayer my friend and I left the farm, while our host remained there alone.”
Police have concluded that the five people were killed in 2010, the source said.
The discovery of the human remains happened by chance. A man, Ali Habib, who had rented the land from its elderly woman owner, was clearing it to start farming when he made the grisly discovery. The woman had rented the land to another person before Habib.
Investigators then found an engraved gold ring and residence cards that helped them to identify some of the victims and several suspects.
The decomposed bodies were found with ropes around their arms and legs and their mouths filled with cotton and covered with duct tape.
Habib, who rented the 20,000-square-meter farm east of Safwa two years ago, said it was deserted and contained a lot of waste. He had first dug up a human thighbone, and eventually found the first body after digging further.
Habib initially thought the remains were those of a dead animal, but discovered undergarments next to the body.


Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

Updated 24 April 2019
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Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

  • Qiwa program aims to achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing unemployment rate to 7 percent

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has revealed ambitious plans to create more than 561,000 private-sector jobs by 2023 as part of a new digital era for the Kingdom’s labor market.

Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmad Al-Rajhi made the announcement at the launch of the Qiwa online platform, which aims to combine all the country’s employment services under one electronic roof.

Through digitalization, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development hopes to not only boost job opportunities for Saudi men and women, but also improve workplace efficiency and productivity, and attract international investment.

Al-Rajhi said: “The ministry has entered into partnerships and agreements to settle more than 561,000 job opportunities in the private sector until 2023,” and the minister added that 45,000 Saudis had entered the labor market in the last three months.

The new labor force platform will consolidate employment-related e-services already offered to job seekers, employees and employers and plans are in the pipeline to plug a further 71 services into the system.

The Qiwa program aims to provide Saudi government officials with a data mine of statistical information to tackle business challenges facing employers and employees, help create new job opportunities, and achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing the country’s unemployment rate to 7 percent. Another key objective is to strategically enhance the Kingdom’s business environment to make it more attractive to local and international investors.

A ministry statement issued to Arab News, said: “The Qiwa platform will have an impact on motivating investors. It will also re-engineer policies and procedures for all services provided to individuals and enterprises on a strong platform that will make a quantum leap in the business world and turn the Saudi market into an attractive market for opportunities and potential for competencies.

“The services are provided in both Arabic and English in order to enable foreign investors to benefit from the services of a strong platform,” the statement added.

The e-services include programs to encourage Saudis to access jobs in their locality by improving the workplace environment and making it more appealing to men and women.

The Kingdom’s public sector is quickly adapting to international standards and labor market demands by digitalizing services, while the ministry is using the latest business management methods to help public organizations increase the competency and productivity of workers while creating a competitive labor market that can partner with the private sector.