Justice Ministry: All defendants get fair trial in Saudi courts

A general view of the Ministry of Justice building in Saudi Arabia. (File photo)
Updated 05 August 2017

Justice Ministry: All defendants get fair trial in Saudi courts

JEDDAH: Following Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the death sentences of 14 people convicted of a range of offenses that posed a threat to national security, and which also involved killing innocent civilians, the spokesman of the Saudi Ministry of Justice, Sheikh Mansour Al-Ghafari, maintained that all defendants receive fair trials in Saudi courts, which meet all the required criteria and conditions of the Saudi legal system.
Al-Ghafari said that all sentences against defendants in terrorist cases are subject to meticulous audit and review in the Special Appeal Court and the Supreme Court. Death sentences, in particular, require validation from both a Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, which means they need to go through many stages, involving the participation of 13 judges, before the sentence is ultimately approved, Al-Ghafari said.
Throughout this period, defendants enjoy full legal rights, including the right to appoint attorneys of their choice, and the ministry pays the ensuing expenses if the defendant cannot afford them, he added.
Moreover, he stressed that all court hearings are held in the presence of defendants’ parents and representatives of the press and human rights groups.
In cases where defendants are non-Saudis, the spokesman said, the embassies of their home countries are notified to send representatives to attend the trials.
Al-Ghafari added that the court gives defendants enough time to prepare and present their defense, and harsh sentences are only passed for the most dangerous crimes — those which threaten the safety and security of society and represent a violation of human rights and dignity, principally the rights to life and security.


Passionate Saudi musicians Jwa ready to take the world by storm

The group has plans to perform in Jordan, Egypt, Dubai and Bahrain, as it awaits the release of its first album before exploring new horizons. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 19 February 2020

Passionate Saudi musicians Jwa ready to take the world by storm

  • Jwa’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25
  • The word “jwa” in Arabic means the “highest levels of passion and love,” which embodies how the quintet feel about Indie music — the thing that brought them together

RIYADH: The music scene in the Kingdom is exploding, with young, talented Saudis taking full advantage of the developments in the country by showcasing their talent.
 In a limited time, young Saudi musicians have proven that they are equal to any other young cohort of musicians anywhere in the world.
 One of those talents is a young band from Dhahran, Jwa. Currently performing locally in Riyadh, Jeddah and other cities in the Eastern Province, the group has plans to perform in Jordan, Egypt, Dubai and Bahrain, as it awaits the release of its first album before exploring new horizons.
 The band, formed in 2018, is composed of Methgal Al-Shammari on drums, Mohammad Al-Nahas (bass and vocals), Arkan Al-Zahrani (guitar), Mansour Al-Gallaf (guitar) and Fawaz Baasem (keyboard).
They have had two local hit singles, “Ya Safina” and “Min Jadeed.” Methgal and Mohammad, the founders of Jwa, say that at first they “performed at numerous local events and parties” across the Kingdom. It did not take them long to become popular among Saudis.

FASTFACTS

• Jwa was formed in 2018.

• Since its launch it has two local hit singles.

• The band’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25.

The word “jwa” in Arabic means the “highest levels of passion and love,” which embodies how the quintet feel about Indie music — the thing that brought them together.
However, they have faced many challenges in the last two years. Methgal and Mohammad said initially a “lack of support for independent bands” and “weakness of the nurturing music environment” within the country halted their progress.
However, due to the steps taken by the General Entertainment Authority, bands like Jwa have become able to make their voices and music heard. In the future, they are looking to go international, to “make their band known not only to different regions of Saudi Arabia but also abroad to gain more momentum and attraction.”
Jwa’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25.