Saudi Shoura passes law to protect informants, witnesses, victims

The new law will encourage witnesses and informants to report their information without any kind of fear, threat or damage. (SPA)
Updated 07 November 2018
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Saudi Shoura passes law to protect informants, witnesses, victims

  • Saudi Arabia has been working hard to battle corruption, and Al-Madhhab thinks this system will cover the loophole in previous systems

JEDDAH: The Shoura Council approved a proposed regulation on Tuesday that helps to protect informants, witnesses, experts and victims.
The proposal, which consists of 39 articles, protects informants from attacks, threats, material or moral harm, or anything that may adversely affect the giving of information.
Arab News caught up with Dr. Muadi Al-Madhhab, one of the Shoura members who proposed the draft. He said: “It aims to protect whistle-blowers who are reporting cases of corruption because in most cases those informants face managerial abuse, harassment and threats for coming forward with the truth.”
The Kingdom has been working hard to battle corruption, and Al-Madhhab thinks this system will cover the loophole in previous systems.
“As the Kingdom is part of many international organizations where this law is established and carried out, invoking it now will aid in investments, and preserving rights and maintaining transparency,” he said.
Al-Madhhab mentioned that the system was first proposed last year, and he believes it is one of the fastest systems to pass through the Shoura Council and get approved. It was merged with another proposal of a similar system to protect witnesses, victims and experts.
“The 39 articles cover aspects suggested by both the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Economy and Planning (about) how whistle-blowers can be protected, how they can report, who are the individuals warranting protection, the punishments toward those who reveal a whistle-blower’s identity and those who wish to harm them, as well as the experts, victims and witnesses.”
Al-Madhhab learned about the system during his studies and is now teaching variations of it at King Saud University. He said he decided to propose the system now due to “the timing,” and especially after the efforts of the National Authority for Combating Corruption, as it helps block the loophole in the system that many can use to escape justice.
The system will permeate both governmental and private sectors, and Al-Madhhab believes it will have fruitful outcomes in building trust, encouraging transparency and integrity among organizations, as well as establishing new opportunities for investment and raising the Kingdom to a higher pedestal.
Lawyer Dimah Alsharif told Arab News: “This long-awaited system will definitely encourage witnesses and informants to report their information without any kind of fear, threat or damage.”
She said that such a system emerging at a time when the Kingdom is battling corruption will help reduce corruption overall.
“This protection will also provide greater opportunity to monitor as much evidence as possible in the process of investigations, unlike in the past,” when these things took a long time to process owing to lack of evidence.


Put pressure on Houthis to comply with Stockholm Agreement, Saudi envoy urges UN 

Updated 20 min 50 sec ago
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Put pressure on Houthis to comply with Stockholm Agreement, Saudi envoy urges UN 

  • Prince Khalid says Houthis have repeatedly violated the agreement signed in Sweden last year
  • Despite the agreement, Houthis have launched drone attacks, shelled Saudi border towns and launched a ballistic missile towards KSA

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s envoy to the US urged the United Nations on Thursday to take the Houthi militia to task for “reneging on their commitments” under the Stockholm Agreement on Yemen.
“The Stockholm Agreement between Yemeni parties is being violated repeatedly by the Houthis,” Prince Khalid bin Salman said in a series of tweets.
He said the Yemeni government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the Saudi-led Coalition that is backing it have been implementing their obligation under the agreement.
Signed last December in Stockholm, Sweden, the agreement is an important first step for sustainable peace and offers hope for millions of Yemenis.
“(But) it takes two sides to make it work, so far, the Iran-backed Houthi militia seems determined to uphold the misery and suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people,” Prince Khalid said.
“Not only did the Houthis refuse to implement the Stockholm agreement, which they signed to, but they also went beyond that and continued their armed assault including drone attacks, the shelling of residential neighborhoods & launching a ballistic missile towards KSA,” he tweeted.
He also pointed to the attack on Jan. 17 that targeted a UN convoy in Yemen's port city of Hodeidah, which was blamed on Houthis.
"The Iran-backed militia displayed its contempt for peace by attempting to target a UN convoy, this is a reminder that we are dealing with a lawless militia that does not care about peace or the fate of millions of Yemenis," the envoy said.
He said the UN should "name the party that failed to uphold basic confidence building measures leading up to the Stockholm agreement, and clearly identify who is responsible for the attack on the armored vehicle that was carrying chief UN monitor Patrick Cammaert."