Saudi Shoura passes law to protect informants, witnesses, victims

The new law will encourage witnesses and informants to report their information without any kind of fear, threat or damage. (SPA)
Updated 07 November 2018

Saudi Shoura passes law to protect informants, witnesses, victims

  • Saudi Arabia has been working hard to battle corruption, and Al-Madhhab thinks this system will cover the loophole in previous systems

JEDDAH: The Shoura Council approved a proposed regulation on Tuesday that helps to protect informants, witnesses, experts and victims.
The proposal, which consists of 39 articles, protects informants from attacks, threats, material or moral harm, or anything that may adversely affect the giving of information.
Arab News caught up with Dr. Muadi Al-Madhhab, one of the Shoura members who proposed the draft. He said: “It aims to protect whistle-blowers who are reporting cases of corruption because in most cases those informants face managerial abuse, harassment and threats for coming forward with the truth.”
The Kingdom has been working hard to battle corruption, and Al-Madhhab thinks this system will cover the loophole in previous systems.
“As the Kingdom is part of many international organizations where this law is established and carried out, invoking it now will aid in investments, and preserving rights and maintaining transparency,” he said.
Al-Madhhab mentioned that the system was first proposed last year, and he believes it is one of the fastest systems to pass through the Shoura Council and get approved. It was merged with another proposal of a similar system to protect witnesses, victims and experts.
“The 39 articles cover aspects suggested by both the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Economy and Planning (about) how whistle-blowers can be protected, how they can report, who are the individuals warranting protection, the punishments toward those who reveal a whistle-blower’s identity and those who wish to harm them, as well as the experts, victims and witnesses.”
Al-Madhhab learned about the system during his studies and is now teaching variations of it at King Saud University. He said he decided to propose the system now due to “the timing,” and especially after the efforts of the National Authority for Combating Corruption, as it helps block the loophole in the system that many can use to escape justice.
The system will permeate both governmental and private sectors, and Al-Madhhab believes it will have fruitful outcomes in building trust, encouraging transparency and integrity among organizations, as well as establishing new opportunities for investment and raising the Kingdom to a higher pedestal.
Lawyer Dimah Alsharif told Arab News: “This long-awaited system will definitely encourage witnesses and informants to report their information without any kind of fear, threat or damage.”
She said that such a system emerging at a time when the Kingdom is battling corruption will help reduce corruption overall.
“This protection will also provide greater opportunity to monitor as much evidence as possible in the process of investigations, unlike in the past,” when these things took a long time to process owing to lack of evidence.


Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

Updated 25 January 2020

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

  • “I was transported into a completely different world”: Jay Kay

ALULA: British band Jamiroquai thrilled a delighted audience at Maraya Concert Hall in Saudi Arabia on Friday night during a show packed with hits.

In a first for a venue more used to hosting opera and classical concerts, the British funk/acid jazz outfit had fans dancing along to the music.

The show, at the distinctive, mirror-covered concert hall in historic AlUla, was part of the second Winter at Tantora festival. It opened with “Shake It On,” followed by the hit singles “Little L,” “Alright,” and “Space Cowboy.” By this time the crowd was well and truly warmed up, and “Use the Force” got them on their feet.

“The song seemed to resonate with everyone” Jay Kay told Arab News in an exclusive interview after the show.

During the gig, Kay dedicated the 2002 song “Corner of the Earth” to AlUla, which he described as a “magical and wonderful place, which is absolutely stunning.” The opportunity to perform there was “an honor and privilege” he added. He also thanked “Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for his vision, and Prince Badr for making this happen and the great hospitality.”

After a further selection of singles and album tracks, the show ended on a high with a quartet of hits — “Cosmic Girl,” “Virtual Insanity,” “Canned Heat” and “Lovefoolosophy.”

Kay praised the Maraya Concert Hall as “a brilliant place to play.” He admitted that initially he was a little worried when he saw it because he was under the impression it would be an outdoor venue. However, any concerns he had were gone by the time the first sound check was done.

“I was transported into a completely different world; the acoustics were unbelievable, like being in a German concert hall,” he said. “It is obviously very well thought out and that’s what makes it so good. The sound was fabulous — I never looked at my sound guy once.”

Jamiroquai’s music videos often feature Kay in super cars, of which he owns many, and he revealed that he would love to shoot such a promo in AlUla.

“In reality, I’m desperate to get in one of the dune buggies, and would kill to have a (Ariel) Nomad and have a go in one in AlUla, where it’s supposed to be driven, for a day or five and dune bash, which is such a rare thing for us in England,” he said.

The singer also said he wants to bring his family to AlUla, which has become a hub for culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia.

“I would like to come out with my family and my youngest, who is called Talula, so hopefully we can have Talula come to AlUla, which would be wonderful,” said Kay.

He added that he was looking forward to exploring the area on Saturday, before leaving the country, but added: “I’m sure you can never have enough time to see everything there is to see.”