‘Abused’ Saudi taxi driver receives massive support

Updated 19 October 2015
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‘Abused’ Saudi taxi driver receives massive support

JEDDAH: It had never occurred to Mahfouz Al-Yasin, a Saudi taxi driver, that he would be transformed from an ordinary citizen into a celebrity.
He was just a hard-working citizen, doing his hard-working best to support his family. Now he is receiving support and sympathy from both Saudis and Gulf citizens. His unfortunate encounter with a reckless passenger has become a story which illustrates the feeling of brotherhood in society and thwarts plans to break up the united fabric of the community.
Mahfouz normally cruises around the Eastern Province in his taxi, welcoming passengers with a smile. His two sons who are about to marry are in Riyadh and he recently went there to help them and to buy each one new furniture for his bedroom. He was selfless in his intent and did not consider his own health or well-being.
Abdullah Al-Yasin, a relative of Mahfouz, said that what happened was painful. A passenger in his car examined a certain article that was hanging in his car. The passenger verbally abused him while filming the encounter and then posted it online. Many who saw the video were left aghast by the tirade of the passenger.
“After the video of the incident circulated, the security authorities began a search for the offender and in less than 24 hours, Mahfouz was asked to come and identify the man,” said Yasin.
He said the police chief had confirmed the video was enough to convict the offender who is a government employee.
“The offender tried to intimidate and blackmail Mahfouz when he demanded payment of SR500,” he said, noting that the family had not pressed charges. It came to the public’s attention only because the video went viral.
Col. Ziad Al-Ruqaiti, a spokesman for the Eastern Province police, said that the Ahsa police arrested the person and he is currently being investigated prior to referring him to the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution.
The video has attracted viewers from all segments of society, including scholarship students who are abroad. There is a demand that the rights of the driver be upheld and defended.
The hashtag, “I am Sunni and demand the Shiite driver be given his rights,” has spotlighted the case. A majority of Sunnis defended the rights of the Shiite driver. The hashtag has attracted both Saudis as well as Gulf citizens who were united in their condemnation of the incident.


‘Individuals responsible for Khashoggi's death were out of scope of their authority’, Saudi FM tells Fox News

Updated 21 October 2018
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‘Individuals responsible for Khashoggi's death were out of scope of their authority’, Saudi FM tells Fox News

  • Al-Jubeir said "conflicting reports" about whether Khashoggi had left consulate in Istanbul prompted probe
  • Said Kingdom was working on finding out location of the body and determining full details

WASHINGTON: Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Sunday that King Salman is determined to hold to account those responsible in the case regarding the late journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“The individuals did this out of the scope of their authority,” Jubeir told Fox News’ Bret Baierhe during an exclusive interview, adding that none of those involved in Khashoggi’s death had close ties to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“There were not people closely tied to him. This was an operation that was a rogue operation,” he said.

He added that conflicting reports about whether Khashoggi had left the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul prompted a probe into his disappearance, and that Saudi Arabia will continue to put out information on the case "as it becomes available."

The Saudi foreign minister offered his condolences to the family of Khashoggi and said the death was a "tremendous mistake."

Al-Jubeir added that Saudi Arabia was working on finding out the location of Khashoggi’s body and determining the full details into what happened.

He told the news program that Saudi-US ties would "weather" the Khashoggi case.