Bahraini court slaps travel ban on Al-Arab TV loan defaulters

Updated 15 March 2015
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Bahraini court slaps travel ban on Al-Arab TV loan defaulters

A Bahraini court has barred six employees of the Al-Arab television channel from leaving the country, over claims of unsettled debts.
The travel ban order involved a Saudi broadcaster and five other Arab employees, over outstanding loans they owed to a bank which they took immediately after starting their work at the television channel. The bank filed a lawsuit against them early this month demanding the repayment of the liabilities.
Lawyer Osama Anwar, who was assigned by the Bahraini bank to file the lawsuit, told local media that the court ordered the travel ban against the employees of the channel that went off air. In the lawsuit, the advocate said the legal move was necessitated because the group was expected to leave Bahrain at any time and there were fears that the loans would not be settled. “This might entail the bank losing its entitlements of the remaining payments of the loan agreement,” said the lawyer, noting that the six defendants are still in Bahrain.
Abdullah bin Abdul Malik Al-Asheikh, the Saudi ambassador to Bahrain, said the details of the case date back to the time when the six employees began working for the now-defunct channel. They applied for loans, but after the closure of the satellite channel the bank had fears that the borrowers might leave the country and not repay the liabilities.
One of the six who was banned from travel, a Saudi national, told a local publication that he was appointed to work as a broadcaster with the channel, and he must repay an amount of SR480,000 to the bank. He said the court did not specify a time frame for the six persons to repay the debts, but in case they fail to repay the loan money another lawsuit will be filed to force them to pay. The man confirmed he did not request the intervention of the Saudi Embassy to solve his problem. He said he was assured that if he asked the embassy’s intervention they will no doubt help him.
Al-Arab channel was banned from broadcasting by the Information Affairs Authority of Bahrain for failing to obtain the necessary broadcast licensing.
The Information Affairs Authority said it made all efforts to support the channel and help it complete the technical and administrative requirements for broadcast, “but these requirements were not met.”


Christchurch Muslims praise King Salman’s Hajj offer

Updated 19 July 2019
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Christchurch Muslims praise King Salman’s Hajj offer

  • The president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury Shagaf Khan said people will be both financially and spiritually supported during the journey
  • Khan said a trip to Makkah would normally cost around 10,000 New Zealand dollars ($6,769), but King Salman’s offer would cover pilgrims “from the time they leave their house and come back”

CHRISTCHURCH: King Salman’s Hajj offer to host families of those affected by March’s Christchurch terror attacks is “something really special,” said the president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury, Shagaf Khan.
The Saudi king has offered to host and cover the expenses of 200 Hajj pilgrims when they journey to Makkah this year.
Khan said people will be both financially and spiritually supported during the journey. “For some of them, it’ll be a great comfort feeling like they’ve fulfilled the obligations of being a Muslim,” he added.
Khan said a trip to Makkah would normally cost around 10,000 New Zealand dollars ($6,769), but King Salman’s offer would cover pilgrims “from the time they leave their house and come back.”
When asked what the offer would mean for Canterbury’s Muslim community, Khan said it is part of the solidarity and support that has been shown to them since the Christchurch terror attacks, which claimed the lives of 51 people.
“Four months on … people still feel supported and they feel they’re still being remembered,” he added.
Sheikh Mohammed Amir, who is working closely with the local community, Saudi Arabia’s Embassy and its Ministry of Islamic Affairs to implement King Salman’s offer, said it will be available for those who had lost family members or been injured in the mosque attacks.
Canterbury’s Muslims are “very appreciative” of the offer, added Amir, who is chairman of the Islamic Scholars Board of New Zealand.
“I’ll say with full confidence that this will be a big relief for the deceased’s families, for the victims, for all those who’ve been injured and affected,” he said.
When asked how the organization of the pilgrimage is going, Amir said “so far, so good,” but added that it has been challenging without official records to track everyone down.
He said it is an honor and a responsibility to help organize the pilgrimage, which he has been helping to plan since the end of Ramadan. “People are very excited about it,” he added.
He said he believed that the king’s offer had been made to help people’s rehabilitation after the terror attacks.
“The community believes he’s going to contribute in building Christchurch and bringing people to a normal life,” Amir added.