Saudi public prosecution bureau arrests and prosecutes coronavirus rumor monger

The person shared and produced content on social media about COVID-19 deemed by authorities to be rumors. (Reuters)
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Updated 18 March 2020

Saudi public prosecution bureau arrests and prosecutes coronavirus rumor monger

  • The public to seek information from official sources only

RIYADH: The Saudi Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution arrested a person who shared and produced content on social media, including rumors and news from unknown sources, about the novel coronavirus (COVID-9), affecting public order.

“By examining digital evidence and information identifiers, the suspect has been arrested, interrogated and charged with producing COVID-19 rumors and news from unknown sources that affect public order and undermine trust in the strength and immunity of the precautionary and preventive measures taken by the competent authorities,” a bureau source said.

The individual’s file has been referred to the relevant court, the source added, with the possibility of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of SR3 million ($800,000), in addition to confiscation of equipment used for the offense according to Article 6 of the Saudi Anti-Cyber Crimes Law.

The source highlighted that this penalty also affects everyone who participated in said crime by agreement, assistance or incitement, and all those who produced, prepared, sent or stored anything that might affect public order through the internet or a computer.

On the subject of the virus, the source urged the public to seek information from official sources only, to reference them, and fully cooperate with coronavirus-related decisions and instructions issued by the relevant authorities in order to avoid criminal liability.
 

 


Saudi Arabia’s ‘Awdah’ initiative helps over 12,790 expats return home

Updated 04 June 2020

Saudi Arabia’s ‘Awdah’ initiative helps over 12,790 expats return home

  • Residents with exit and re-entry visas, final exit visas and individuals with visit visas are eligible for the service
  • People can register through the Absher platform

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s initiative Awdah helped 12,798 expatriates return home amid the coronavirus travel bans, state news agency SPA reported.
The program, which means return in Arabic, was launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help stranded expats return to their home countries and received a total of 178,452 individual registrations between April 22 to June 3. Only those whose countries have agreed to receive them have been flown out.
Residents with exit and re-entry visas, final exit visas and individuals with visit visas are eligible for the service.
To register, a person must use the Absher platform to provide residency number, date of birth, phone number, city of departure and name of airport at home country, the report added.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the Ministry of Human Resources and Development, the General Authority of Civil Aviation and other governmental organizations are working together to help stranded expats return home.