342 foreigners deported on criminal, terror-related charges

Updated 10 March 2013
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342 foreigners deported on criminal, terror-related charges

The Kingdom has detained 551 foreigners of 41 different nationalities including Asian and Arab expatriates on crime and terror-related charges, said Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, the spokesman of the Ministry of Interior, here Thursday night. “In fact, a total of 2,772 Saudi citizens and 551 expatriates are held in security prisons across the country today,” said Al-Turki, adding that 178 people were previously arrested in Qatif by security agencies besides those detained recently in the central city of Buraidah.
Addressing a press conference at the Buraidah police headquarters, Al-Turki said: “The members of certain deviant groups and those protesting outside government offices in Qassim were taken into custody after security officers on the spot failed to convince them to end their unlawful demonstration.” On Thursday, Al-Turki took a group of journalists on board a special plane from Riyadh to Buraidah, the provincial capital of Qassim province, for the press briefing.
Referring to the expatriates deported on terror-related charges, he pointed out that 342 foreigners were deported by the Kingdom in the last four months. He said a large number of those involved in Qatif riots have also been released. “An Egyptian national, identified as an accomplice of the protesters in Buraidah, was arrested recently,” said Al-Turki, while giving details of the unlawful protests made by people in Buraidah and Qatif.
He pointed out that “many of the cases involving Saudi men and women have either been finalized or are at various stages of judicial scrutiny in different parts of the Kingdom.” Al-Turki said 3,075 people, whose cases have been settled by the courts in different provinces of the Kingdom, have either been released or are awaiting release as their papers are being finalized by agencies.
Referring to the “rumors” and the “misleading information” uploaded on social networking sites that encouraged the demonstrators to assemble and protest, he criticized the online activists of using media to stir up demonstrations. He said the online activists have been giving “exaggerated figures” about the number of people detained in the Kingdom. This prompted demonstrations, culminating in the arrest of 161 people in Buraidah last week.
“People are trying to misusing information technology to spread rumors and allegations aimed at sparking strife and anarchy in the Kingdom. Many men and women are resorting to skepticism and using IT tools to simplify crimes committed by armed groups and deviant groups to influence public opinion and judicial process,” added Al-Turki, while calling on people to refrain from this practice.
The spokesman expressed his concerns about the misuse of technology and said that rumormongers have gone as far as organizing demonstrations in front of the office of Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution in Buraidah and also in Qatif. Those detained in Buraidah are facing the legal process. “Many of them have been released in Buraidah, as we all know,” he added. “In fact, a total of 1,590 people detained on various allegations ranging from involvement in crime, militancy to terrorism are facing trial across the country,” said Al-Truki.


Saudi MERS outbreaks killed 23 over four months: WHO

Updated 2 min 28 sec ago
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Saudi MERS outbreaks killed 23 over four months: WHO

  • The latest figures take the number of confirmed cases to 2,220 since September 2012, including 1,844 from Saudi Arabia
  • The disease is hard to spot, partly because it often infects people with an underlying condition such as diabetes, renal failure or chronic lung disease

GENEVA: Outbreaks of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) killed 23 people in Saudi Arabia between Jan. 21 and May 31 this year, the World Health Organization said on Monday.
The deaths were among 75 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) during the period, the WHO said, and take the total number of deaths from the disease to 790 since it was first diagnosed in humans in 2012.
The latest figures take the number of confirmed cases to 2,220 since September 2012, including 1,844 from Saudi Arabia.
One outbreak in February hit a private hospital in Hafer Albatin region, where the patient passed the disease to three health workers. There was another cluster of six cases in a hospital in Riyadh in the same month, although no health care workers were infected.
Two other clusters affected households in Jeddah and Najran.
MERS-CoV is a member of a virus family ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. It appears to have emerged in humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012, although it has been traced in camels, the source of the infection, back to at least 1983.
The disease is hard to spot, partly because it often infects people with an underlying condition such as diabetes, renal failure or chronic lung disease.
But it kills one in three sufferers, and hospital workers are at risk unless extreme caution is taken to identify MERS sufferers early and to protect health care workers from infection via airborne droplets such as from coughs and sneezes.
Susceptible people should avoid contact with suspected cases and with camels, and anyone who has contact with animals should wash their hands before and afterwards, the WHO said. Everyone should avoid drinking raw camel milk or camel urine, or eating undercooked meat.
Three MERS cases have been reported this year outside Saudi Arabia. Oman and the United Arab Emirates each reported a case, while in Malaysia a man fell ill after drinking unpasteurised camel milk during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.