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Saudi Arabia

Passport Dept cautioned over expats’ rights

The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) has sent a loud and clear message to the Passport Department in Makkah after it detected a number of violations inside its corridors.
The commission said in a recent report that the Passport Department failed to implement the Interior Ministry’s order to renew the iqama of any expatriate having a dispute with his\her sponsor in court.
The commission said the order had not been implemented due to an overlap of responsibilities between the police and the Passport Department when reporting a missing passport.
The commission also noted that expatriates were not allowed to enter the Passport Department without their sponsors accompanying them.
A source from the commission told a local newspaper that the way the Passport Department treats expatriates must be re-evaluated.
“We received a number of complaints from expatriates detained by the Passport Department for deportation that they were treated inhumanely and put in unclean detention cells in the expatriate control unit," said the source.
It was alleged that sponsors of expatriates also committed violations by confiscating their official documents despite a Cabinet decree, the source said. The commission said there should be a regulation to protect the rights of expatriate children born to Saudi mothers until they obtain citizenship.

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