Saudi rights chief receives Swiss envoy

Saudi rights chief receives Swiss envoy
Awwad Al-Awwad, president of the Human Rights Commission, holds a meeting with Swiss Ambassador Dr. Andreas Schaller on Tuesday. (SPA)
Short Url
Updated 27 January 2021

Saudi rights chief receives Swiss envoy

Saudi rights chief receives Swiss envoy
  • Saudi Arabia is witnessing a qualitative leap in the field of human rights

RIYADH: Swiss Ambassador Dr. Andreas Schaller called on the president of Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Commission, Awwad Al-Awwad, at his office in Riyadh on Tuesday.  

During the meeting, they discussed several issues related to human rights. The Saudi rights chief highlighted the Kingdom’s measures for the protection of human rights. 

Saudi Arabia is witnessing a qualitative leap in the field of human rights. The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 program is at the forefront of these reforms intended to focus on humans. 

Among over 60 recent decisions made to improve the situation of human rights in the Kingdom, 22 were related to women.  

These included issuing such laws as the Protection from Abuse Law and the Anti-Harassment Law, eliminating the guardianship system, allowing women to drive, ensuring greater female participation in the workforce, especially the legal sphere, dedicating a call center for domestic violence issues, establishing the Family Affairs Council (one of whose committees is devoted to women’s affairs) and setting up courts for family cases. 

In November 2020, the Kingdom eased the sponsorship system for foreign expat workers, including contract restrictions that gave employers control over the lives of around 10 million migrant workers.


Who’s Who: Sultan Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of KSA’s Citizen Account Program

Who’s Who: Sultan Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of KSA’s Citizen Account Program
Updated 22 min 59 sec ago

Who’s Who: Sultan Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of KSA’s Citizen Account Program

Who’s Who: Sultan Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of KSA’s Citizen Account Program

Sultan Al-Qahtani has been the spokesman and communication general manager of the Citizen Account Program since 2018.

Al-Qahtani, who received a bachelor’s degree in English translation from King Khalid University (KKU) in 2007, is an ambassador of the Charity Orphans Care Foundation (Ekhaa).

His KSA Awla initiative, which he started in 2010, has succeeded in helping thousands of young men and young women find suitable jobs. Moreover, he is a member of the Saudi Media National Association since 2020. 

After graduation from KKU, Al-Qahtani joined King Abdul Aziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba), where he worked as a creativity prize administrator for nearly 16 months.

During the same period, he served at the leading mobile service provider, Zain KSA, as a marketing administrator for 10 months and as an application supervisor for five months. He also led Zain’s public relations team for more than a year.

For four months, Al-Qahtani worked for the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) as a media and public relations officer.

In October 2012, he started a new job with the Saudi mining firm Maaden, where he provided protocol support to the company’s president in regard to his visits, conferences, tours, and social functions. In December 2013 he moved to SAP, a producer of software for the management of business processes, where he managed marketing events and social media activities in Saudi Arabia.

In April 2017, Al-Qahtani joined the General Entertainment Authority, where he was the media relations manager for nearly a year before moving to the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha’at), where he administered its communication department for six months.


Saudi, Palestinian Authority foreign ministers hold call

Saudi, Palestinian Authority foreign ministers hold call
Updated 14 May 2021

Saudi, Palestinian Authority foreign ministers hold call

Saudi, Palestinian Authority foreign ministers hold call
  • Prince Faisal bin Farhan affirmed the Kingdom's condemnation of illegal practices carried out by Israeli authorities

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister spoke to the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad Al-Maliki on the phone on Friday.

During the call, Prince Faisal bin Farhan affirmed the Kingdom's condemnation of illegal practices carried out by Israeli authorities, and the need to immediately stop the country's escalatory actions that violate all international norms and conventions.

Prince Faisal called for the completion of efforts aimed at finding a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue which would enable the Palestinian people to establish an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and in accordance with international legitimacy decisions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Meanwhile, Jordan’s foreign minister said he had discussed with Prince Faisal targeted efforts to “stop the Israeli aggression on Gaza and the attacks in Jerusalem and the rest of the Palestinian territories,” as a means of ending the current escalation.

“Occupation is the basis of the conflict, and launching an effective political movement to end it is a priority that we are working on with our brothers and partners,” Ayman Safadi tweeted.

Safadi also spoke to his Omani and Egyptian counterparts regarding the escalation in “occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Prince Faisal also received a phone call from Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi during which the two ministers discussed the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The foreign minister also discussed the conflict between Gaza and Israel with his Sudanese counterpart Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi.


Saudi Arabia announces 12 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 12 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 14 May 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 12 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 12 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 415,747
  • A total of 7,134 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 12 deaths from COVID-19 and 927 new infections on Friday.
Of the new cases, 265 were recorded in Riyadh, 262 in Makkah, 128 in the the Eastern Province, 69 in Madinah, 54 in Asir, 36 in Jazan, 22 in Tabuk, 19 in Hail, 18 in Najran, eight in the Northern Borders region, and seven in Al-Jouf.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 415,747 after 1,608 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 7,134 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.
Over 11.2 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


King Salman prays for ‘continued security and stability’

King Salman prays for ‘continued security and stability’
Updated 14 May 2021

King Salman prays for ‘continued security and stability’

King Salman prays for ‘continued security and stability’
  • All mosques and prayer areas maintain full health protocols

JEDDAH: King Salman performed Eid prayers in NEOM on Thursday. 

Earlier, he extended greetings to Saudi citizens and residents and Muslims all over the world.

In a tweet on Thursday, the king said: “We thank God Almighty for making the blessed Eid Al-Fitr a sign of good and satisfaction after completing the fasting and prayers of Ramadan. 

“Eid carries hope, optimism, and happiness, and we pray to God to cleanse the entire world of all evil, protect us from harm, and grant us continued security, stability, and tranquility.”

The king said this Eid is an occasion to overcome the ordeal that the world has suffered from the health, social and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

King Salman said he was “optimistic about the positive steps in place to achieve stability in the Arab world, so that security and prosperity prevail for all parts of the globe.”

“Combating this pandemic that has befallen the world requires all of us to adhere to the health measures announced by the Ministry of Health, including social distancing, and the need to receive the vaccine, which will work to immunize our dear community of citizens and residents,” the king said.

Mask-clad worshippers entered Makkah’s Grand Mosque along socially distanced paths to offer Eid prayer. Worshippers at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah also followed COVID-19 protocols.

As Saudi families gathered to celebrate the first day of Eid Al-Fitr, the Kingdom’s health minister urged people to follow official health precautions to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“I need your attention on your Eid. Be careful, refrain from shaking hands completely, be sure to practice social distancing, and avoid large gatherings,” Tawfiq Al-Rabiah tweeted on the eve of festivities.

“Go to the Eid prayer with your own prayer mat, wear the mask constantly, sanitize your hands before and after receiving or giving Eidiya, and leave a safe distance between you and others,” he added. The minister also warned parents not to allow children to hug or kiss their grandparents, saying that such practices may endanger older members of the family.

Worshippers across the Kingdom performed Eid Al-Fitr prayers in 20,569 mosques and open-air prayer areas set up by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance.

Mosques and prayer areas were equipped with facilities in accordance with the health protocols approved by the authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

The imams spoke during the Eid sermon about the blessing of completing fasting and praying qiyaam, and the importance of the continuation of good deeds after Ramadan.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia reported 11 more COVID-19-related deaths on Thursday. The death toll now stands at 7,122.

The Health Ministry reported 1,116 new cases, meaning that 430,505 people have now contracted the disease. There are 9,244 remaining active cases, 1,344 of which are in critical condition.

According to the ministry, 377 of the newly recorded cases were in Riyadh, 320 in Makkah, 134 in the Eastern Province and 71 in Madinah. In addition, 1,129 patients recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 414,139.

Saudi Arabia so far has conducted 17,812,376 PCR tests, with 71,457 carried out in the past 24 hours.

Saudis and expats in the Kingdom continue to receive their COVID-19 jabs, with 11,195,164 people inoculated so far.


OIC: Continuing Houthi attacks against civilian targets tantamount to war crimes

OIC: Continuing Houthi attacks against civilian targets tantamount to war crimes
Updated 14 May 2021

OIC: Continuing Houthi attacks against civilian targets tantamount to war crimes

OIC: Continuing Houthi attacks against civilian targets tantamount to war crimes
  • The OIC announced on Thursday that it will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday, at the request of Saudi Arabia, to discuss the situation in Jerusalem and Gaza

JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) strongly condemned the “cowardly, hostile action” by terrorist Houthi militias in Yemen, which on Thursday launched eight drones and three ballistic missiles at civilian targets in the Kingdom.

The Arab coalition fighting the Houthis in support of Yemen’s internationally recognized government said it intercepted and destroyed the drones and missiles before they reached their targets.

OIC Secretary-General Yousef Al-Othaimeen praised the coalition forces for their vigilance and professionalism in responding to the Houthi’s attack, which took place on the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

“The continued launch of ballistic missiles and drones toward civilians and civilian objects is considered war crimes, and a flagrant defiance of international laws, customs and agreements,” he said.

He also reiterated the OIC’s solidarity with the Kingdom in all the steps Saudi authorities take to deter Houthi aggression and protect civilians.

Hamdan Al-Shehri, a political analyst and international-relations scholar, told Arab News: “This is a particularly special day for Muslims, Eid Al-Fitr, and all Muslims are also preoccupied by what is happening in Palestine.

“We always hear Iran making threats, but instead of standing with Palestine it is targeting Makkah, Madinah and the Kingdom. This demonstrates the Houthi’s futility, and the extent of Tehran’s malice and how it is always standing with the Houthi forces.

“As we’ve seen, such events are always against civilians. Iran and the Iran-backed Houthi militias have their weapons aimed at civilians because they want civilian victims.” Al-Shehri added: “These are war crimes. The global community should do something, especially about the hundreds of ballistic missiles and drones. The world is only watching.” Meanwhile, the OIC announced on Thursday that it will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday, at the request of Saudi Arabia, to discuss the situation in Jerusalem and Gaza. The meeting of the foreign ministers of OIC member nations will address the continuing Israeli attacks in the Palestinian territories, which have escalated since Monday.

Israeli troops were massing at the Gaza border on Thursday. Meanwhile Hamas targeted Israel with rocket attacks. The increasingly intense hostilities have caused international concern and provoked clashes between Jews and Arabs in Israel.

With fears growing that the violence could spiral out of control into full-blown war, the US announced on Wednesday it is sending an envoy, Hady Amr, to the region.