Reformation: Wild party duo ordered to dig graves

Updated 10 June 2015

Reformation: Wild party duo ordered to dig graves

JEDDAH: Two young women and two men who were caught together at a wild party that involved in dancing and singing at a beach resort have been given interesting alternative sentences.
The Criminal Court in Jeddah ordered the two girls to visit 10 patients at an intensive care unit of a government hospital, while the two young men will be digging five graves.
Sources quoted by a local daily said the prosecutor has objected to the sentence. He has decided to challenge the verdict.
A number of judges across the Kingdom prefer issuing alternative sentences, or non-jail sentences.
Judge Yasser Al-Balawi at the criminal court in Tabuk is well-known for such sentences.
He described this approach as a means of sparing the guilty and their families of the negative impact as a result of jail sentences, such as family problems, negative societal perceptions about prisoners and potential unemployment, which could exacerbate crime levels in the long run.
Many specialists and experts have called for application of alternative sentences during the Haj season in place of harsher sentences such as lashing or jail as a means to reduce punishment and provide services to pilgrims.
Services could include guiding pilgrims, working in Tawafa organizations and helping pilgrims collect stones for Jamrat rituals, among others.
According to a judicial source, application of such alternative sentences during the Haj season is already in place, and there is an objection to replacing harsher penalties with community-based penalties that will serve the greater public interest, noting that the application of these sentences is up to the circuit judge who decides what is appropriate in each case.

FaceOf: Fahad bin Sulaiman Altekhaifi, president of the General Authority for Statistics 

Updated 26 min 24 sec ago

FaceOf: Fahad bin Sulaiman Altekhaifi, president of the General Authority for Statistics 

Fahad bin Sulaiman Altekhaifi has been the president of the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) since his appointment to the post in May 2016.

On Monday GASTAT announced this year’s Hajj statistics, revealing detailed information on the number of pilgrims (which amounted to 2,371,675) performing Hajj this year, their genders, nationalities and whether they arrived through air, land or seaports.

The president conveyed his gratitude to all government and security entities that helped the authority to collect data, and praised the 450 GASTAT researchers who worked to compile the information and deliver it to the public.

He said that the collected data would help facilitate better experiences and easier pilgrimages for future programs, and better services for pilgrims — from social to health, and transportation to security and food.

Altekhaifi received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from King Saud University in 1992, a master’s degree in statistics from Colorado State University in 1996, and his applied statistics and research methodology Ph.D. from the University of Northern Colorado in 2001.

He worked as a manager of a financial program at the Institute of Public Administration in Riyadh from 1993 to 2005. For two years after that, he was a project director at the EIS department in Zuhair Fayez Partnership Consultants.

In 2007, Altekhaifi was appointed a manager of the research department at the Capital Market Authority, before becoming assistant deputy minister for development in November 2011. 

In June 2015, he was the director general of the Central Department of Statistics and Information. He served as the acting president of GASTAT in February 2016, before being appointed president on May 2016.