Saudi Shoura Council to discuss draft anti-discrimination and hate speech law

A proposed draft law to be discussed in the Saudi Shoura Council seeks to make all acts involving contempt of religion, hatred or discrimination a crime. (SPA file photo)
Updated 03 November 2017
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Saudi Shoura Council to discuss draft anti-discrimination and hate speech law

RIYADH: Nearly 20 months after its introduction, the Shoura Council will discuss the anti-discrimination and hate speech draft law on Monday and present it to the members, Okaz newspaper reported.
This comes after demands from intellectuals and writers to discuss and approve such a law. The proposed draft law criminalizes all acts involving contempt of religion, hatred or discrimination.
The draft law, presented by a number of members including Dr. Latifa Al-Shaalan, former members Dr. Abdullah Al-Fayfi and Dr. Haya Al-Manea, is based on main objectives which include the criminalization of discrimination in all its forms against individuals and groups, and the prevention of derogation of individuals and groups due to color, sex, race or sect.
It also aims to prevent the spread of tribal, regional and sectarian strife or that which is based on intellectual and political classifications, in addition to protecting places of worship and preventing attacks on them, insulting sacred sites, or damaging historical symbols of identity.
The draft law would also seek to curb hate speech and help the government curb the discourse of discrimination and hatred.
The proposed draft law criminalizes the use of mosques and places of worship to incite hatred, while it provides for the referral of the extremists whose views lead to murder or crimes to the legitimate judiciary.
Some of those who presented the draft law justified the move due to the lack of a law that punishes discrimination between individuals and groups whose acts or speech could incite hatred and fuel violence among components of society.
They pointed out that its pillars are to strengthen the values of the Islamic religion and to combat extremism, preserve national security in the current political situation, and to prevent attacks on places of worship.
It also aims to protect the social fabric and the state against plots, challenges and endeavors that incite strife and division. It also aims to ban abuse of people on the Internet by rationalizing the use of social media.


Saudi Arabian Military Industries to build five corvettes with Spain’s Navantia

Updated 19 July 2018
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Saudi Arabian Military Industries to build five corvettes with Spain’s Navantia

  • The program will start this autumn with the last unit to be delivered by 2022
  • The contract will generate 6,000 direct and indirect jobs for five years

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) has announced the signature of a Joint Venture (JV) Agreement for the design and construction of five Avante 2200 corvettes with the Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company Navantia. The program will start this autumn with the last unit to be delivered by 2022.
In line with the contract, Navantia and SAMI have agreed on the establishment of a JV in Saudi Arabia, which will provide an exceptional opportunity to consolidate the position of the integrated systems and technologically advanced solutions provided by Navantia in the Saudi market and area of influence, perfectly aligned with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 by localizing 50% of the total military spending by 2030.
The contract will generate 6,000 direct and indirect jobs for five years, as follows: 1,100 direct jobs, more than 1,800 from the auxiliary industry, and more than 3,000 indirect jobs generated by other suppliers.
In this respect, the JV will focus on program management and combat system integration and installation, system engineering, system architecture, hardware design, software development, testing and verification, prototyping, simulation, modelling, and through-life support.
Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Chairman of Saudi Arabian Military Industries, said: “SAMI remains committed to being a key enabler of the Saudi Vision 2030, and the establishment of this Joint Venture with Navantia will localize more than 60% of ship combat systems work including, installation, and integration, which contribute to the Kingdom’s objective to be at the forefront of shaping the local military industries ecosystem. We will continue to explore collaborations and leverage partnerships that meet our key mandate to localize more than half of the Kingdom’s total military spending.”
Esteban Garcia Vilasanchez, Chairman of Navantia, said: “Navantia is very happy with the signature of this contract that means a starting point for the collaboration with Saudi Arabia. Navantia is committed to contributing to Saudi Vision 2030 and will support the country in this endeavour. The JV between SAMI and Navantia is an opportunity to develop capabilities in the country and jointly explore future opportunities.”
For the Avante 2200 contract, the JV will be responsible, among others, of supplying the Combat System of all five ships. Corvettes 4th and 5th will be finalized and delivered to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the JV will do the installation, integration and test of the complete Combat System.