Trial begins of 13 women who staged protests in Buraidah

Criminal Court building in Riyadh. (Courtesy: ada.gov.sa)
Updated 23 November 2016
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Trial begins of 13 women who staged protests in Buraidah

JEDDAH: The Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh on Tuesday began the first session to put on trial 13 Saudi women accused of incitement and participating in rallies and riots in Buraidah, in addition to burning the photo of a senior state official.
The session was held in the presence of the public prosecutor, two of some of the defendants’ proxies, representative of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, and the media. The 13 accused women on trial were all absent as they are at large and not in detention.
The female defendants face several charges including incitement and participation in rallies and riots demanding the release of detainees involved in terrorist activities and crimes.
In March 2013, Qassim police arrested 161 people, including 15 women, after they refused to respond to instructions from authorities to end their illegally staged rally, despite attempts by security members for more than 12 hours to do so.
The accused were illegally gathered in front of the premises of the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution branch in Buraidah, in Qassim Province, in a bid to sway public opinion by exploiting the cases of a number of detainees involved in terrorist activities and crimes affiliated with deviant and terrorist groups.
The rallies led by these women continued for a whole month, and authorities tried with total tolerance and patience to deal with the women who raised banners demanding the release of the detainees and burned a photo of a senior state official. They also filmed these rallies and posted them on social media networks.
The women were arrested at the time and their case was referred to the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution, then to the court where they were released on bail.
Within two months of the incident, two of the women were arrested trying to leave the Kingdom and join Al-Qaeda terrorist group in Yemen. The women were passing through a mountainous area near the Saudi-Yemeni borders in Jazan region accompanied by six of their children, without the consent or knowledge of their guardians. They were referred to trial, and prison sentences were issued against them.


Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

Updated 25 April 2018
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Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

  • The Privatization Program is one of 12 key elements of the Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030
  • The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Council of Economic and Development Affairs on Tuesday approved the Privatization Program that is one of 12 key elements of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals, attracting the latest technologies and innovations, and supporting economic development.

It encourages both local and foreign investment in order to enhance the role of the private sector, with government entities adopting a regulatory and supervisory role. The aim is to increase the private sector’s contribution to GDP from 40 percent to 65 percent by 2030. 

The program will aim to reach its objectives through encouraging the private sector to invest in establishing new schools, universities and health centers, while the government pursues its organizational and supervisory role in health and education.

The privatization program aims to benefit from previous success stories, with the private sector’s collaboration in the development of infrastructure, and its involvement on a large scale in sectors such as energy, water, transport, telecommunications, petrochemicals and finance.

The program sets out a series of objectives in three areas: Developing a general legal framework for policies related to privatization; establishing organizational foundations and dedicated institutions to execute the policies; and setting a timescale for their delivery. 

The Council of Economic and Development Affairs is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.