Guarding the Black Stone

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A guard organizes pilgrims striving to kiss the Black Stone on a corner of the Holy Kaaba in Makkah on Tuesday. The guards of the Black Stone are changed every hour to maintain the high level of alertness, strength and focus required to deal with the huge rush of pilgrims and visitors. The guard also alerts his colleagues in case a pilgrim faints or falls from exhaustion. — SPA


Source :  Saudi Gazette

Security forces intensify inspections ahead of Haj

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Special security forces man all roads leading to Makkah.

Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — Security authorities have intensified the scrutiny of people entering Makkah and the holy precincts.

The special forces of road security are braced to curb any attempt by citizens and residents who are not in possession of Haj permits or other entry authorization to enter the holy precincts until after Haj.

The forces have fanned out throughout all roads, including mountain roads, leading to Makkah since the entry ban came into effect in the wee hours of Tuesday.

“Our forces will deal firmly with any unauthorized person who try to enter Makkah from Tuesday,” Maj. Gen. Zayed Al-Tuwaiyan, commander of special forces for road security, said in a Twitter message on Tuesday.

Officials, however, said Saudis and GCC citizens in civil clothes would not be stopped at the checkpoints. They said people wearing ihram but not carrying Haj permits will be turned back from the checkpoints, which have been set up on all roads leading to Makkah and the holy sites.

According to Al-Tuwaiyan, 188,464 people who tried to enter the holy city without permits were turned back from the checkpoints until Sunday. He said 83,764 vehicles were turned back or impounded for violating the Haj rules.

Security officers can check the authenticity of Haj permits in a matter of seconds using barcode devices.

Al-Tuwaiyan warned that expatriates caught while trying to sneak into the holy precincts without permission would be fingerprinted and deported. They would also be slapped with a 10-year ban on entering the Kingdom, he added.

Al-Tuwaiyan stressed the need for anyone who intends to perform Haj to obtain the required permits. The security command will not be lenient with anyone, he said while emphasizing that everyone must comply with the directives for transporting pilgrims by obtaining necessary permits.

Explaining the operations of road security forces, the commander said the officers would seize vehicles that violate rules for the transportation of pilgrims and ensure parking of vehicles carrying foreign pilgrims in designated locations after the pilgrims unboard.

The road security forces are part of comprehensive network of security officers stationed at the entry points of the holy city. The relevant security wings include Haj security, Haj security for traffic affairs, the Directorate General of Passports, the Directorate General of Prisons and security aviation forces.


Source :  Saudi Gazette

A blatant move to influence justice system

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Saudi Gazette report

Riyadh — The Secretariat General of the Council of Senior Scholars (CSC) stressed that the Kingdom is a sovereign country which derives its ruling from the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet’s Sunnah promoting national unity, protecting human rights and preventing all that leads to sedition, strife and division.

“The judiciary in the Kingdom is an independent authority, and nobody has an authority on judges other than the authority of the Islamic law. No one is allowed to challenge judicial verdicts demanding the release of an accused under investigation in accordance with the regulations of the Public Prosecution or of those who have received effective judicial verdicts.

“Canada’s stand, which is a blatant interference to influence the criminal justice system, has been rejected by the Saudi people,” the Secretariat General said.

It said the Kingdom has been taking all measures to ensure social peace, counter crime and achieve justice.

It respects the rights and dignity of people as stipulated by its applicable law and regulations.

President of the Two Holy Mosque Affairs Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais highlighted the Kingdom’s abidance by the rule of Islam and moderation.

He also underlined the Kingdom’s independence of judiciary and its application of Shariah in all its security, legislative, executive and organizational affairs.

Meanwhile, Mauritania expressed its full solidarity with Saudi Arabia against any interference in its internal affairs, demanding Canada to withdraw its unprecedented statement.

The expression of solidarity was made in a statement by the Mauritanian Foreign Ministry.

Djibouti also condemned and denounced the Canadian interventions in the internal affairs of Saudi Arabia.

Djibouti Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation affirmed its absolute solidarity with the Kingdom in countering such interventions and confronting all those who seek to infringe on its sovereignty.


Source :  Saudi Gazette

Minister of Education reassures Saudi students in Canada

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Dr. Ahmed Al-Eissa

RIYADH – Minister of Education Dr. Ahmed Al-Eissa assured Saudi scholarship students in Canada that the Kingdom has worked to provide all facilities for an easy transfer to universities in other countries.

Dr. Al-Eissa said in a tweet, “I would like to reassure our students in Canada that your government is keen on your academic future … We will provide all possible facilities for your easy transfer to international or local universities…”

He urged students to cooperate with the cultural attaché in Canada for this purpose.

Plan already in action to transfer students from Canada

Saudi students studying in Canada now have the opportunity to transfer to 18 different countries to continue their studies “without being affected”, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Educationfor Scholarship, General Supervisor of Cultural Attachés Jasser al-Harbash told Al Arabiya English on Tuesday.

“We are starting to coordinate with cultural missions in other countries to start the immediate transfer of students to countries with top education programs. Priority countries are Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, and Singapore. Education is in English, and we do not want to transfer them to a country with non-English curriculums,” Harbash told Al Arabiya English.

“There are currently more than 12,000 Saudi students studying in Canada, 7,000 of whom are on scholarship programs while many are accompanying spouses and children. 5,000 are studying for their bachelor’s degree and 2,000 are in postgraduate programs, and medical fellowships in different specializations,” Harbash said.

Harbash added that they are capable of transferring all Saudi students from Canada to countries with cultural missions in the US, UK, New Zealand and Australia, all of which are considered countries with top educational institutions, and have good relations with Saudi Arabia. — SPA


Source :  Saudi Gazette

SR2bn agro services firm approved

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Abdul Rahman Al-Fadhli

Saudi Gazette report

Neom, Tabuk — The Council of Ministers on Tuesday approved the establishment of a government-owned company to provide agricultural services with a capital of not more than SR2 billion.

The Cabinet took the decision on the recommendation of Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdul Rahman Al-Fadhli and the Council of Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA).

Fadhli, who is also the chairman of the supervisory committee on the environment, water and agriculture sector, thanked the King and the Crown Prince for the approval to establish the Agricultural Services Company.

This is one of the initiatives of the National Transformation Program launched by the ministry.

The ministry is working through its supervisory committee to privatize the environment, water and agriculture sectors.

Fadhli said the company will help improve the quality of services and provide them on a sustainable basis, raising the operational initiative in conformity with the goals of NTP 2020 and Vision 2030.

The ministry has completed drafting the goals of the new company and designing its work model.


Source :  Saudi Gazette

Canadian stand shocking

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Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman chairs the Council of Ministers session in Neom, Tabuk, on Tuesday. — SPA

Saudi Gazette report

Neom, Tabuk — The Council of Ministers reiterated the Kingdom’s total and categorical rejection of the Canadian government’s negative and shocking stand which is not based on any accurate information or facts on what it called “civil society activists” who are under detention.

The Cabinet chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman here on Tuesday stressed that the people Canada talked about were detained by the Public Prosecution for committing crimes necessitating their detention according to legal procedures.

These procedures guarantee their Shariah and legal rights. Their rights during the investigation and trial procedures were guaranteed.

The Cabinet stressed that countries must abide by international conventions, principles and norms that respect the sovereignty of each state and refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries governed by constitution, regulations and judicial procedures.

The Council of Ministers praised the efforts of the Coalition Command to Support Legitimacy in Yemen in taking all necessary measures in coordination with the international community to ensure the freedom of maritime navigation and international trade through the Bab Al-Mandeb Strait and the south Red Sea in accordance with international law and related Security Council resolutions.

It stressed that taking the necessary security measures to reduce the risks in this region in coordination with the international community will ensure continued supply of oil to the world.

The security of the Bab Al-Mandeb Strait and that of the south Red Sea is of common international interest, the Cabinet stressed.

Following the Council of Minister’s session, Minister of Media Awwad Al-Awwad said the Cabinet followed up on the efforts of various government and private agencies related to pilgrim services and reviewed the preparations made to help pilgrims perform their rituals in ease and comfort.


Source :  Saudi Gazette

Women lawyers rejoice over growing legal role

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Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH – Obstacles facing Saudi women lawyers have become a thing of the past. Female lawyers have now become part and parcel of the Kingdom’s judicial system as they practice the profession alongside their male counterparts.

“We don’t face any problems and difficulties in carrying out our duty with responsibility,” said Bayan Zahran, a lawyer, while speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette. “The situation of women lawyers is totally different from what was five years ago and we defend our clients inside the courts,” she added.

Zahran referred to some of the difficulties female lawyers had to face five years ago, especially when they applied for license. “Officials used to express surprise when we applied for license. We have been successful in removing their apprehensions through hard work.”

Speaking about major cases being handled by women lawyers, Zahran said: “We have been handling cases related to divorce, rights of divorcees, payment of alimony, reconciliation between couples, payment for housing and furniture, and issues related to married life.”

Najoud Qassim, also a lawyer, said women lawyers must be allowed to take part in reconciliation sessions, especially when married life becomes impossible for couples and when there are reports of family violence, which makes reconciliation impossible.

“Housing for children must be ensured by the father before divorcing their mother to ensure stability in their life,” she said. Qassim called for electronic recording of court proceedings. “It will enable women lawyers to make corrections in their defense statements before court endorsement,” she added.

Tasneem Al-Raheeli, a trainee in legal practice, highlighted the remarkable progress achieved by the Kingdom’s judicial system over the past few years. However, she called for increasing the number of workers at courts to ensure speedy justice.

Hanan Al-Qahtani spoke about difficulties being faced by women lawyers to find training offices. Some offices insist that the trainees should not receive any salary. The authorities have demanded that bachelor degree holders in law should get training for three years.

“Prospective women lawyers in remote regions face difficulty to attend legal courses and have to travel long distances to reach law colleges in major cities,” she pointed out.

High training charges are another major problem, Al-Qahtani said. “Sometimes the amount will reach SR2,000 daily,” she told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.

Noura Al-Qarni stressed the need to reduce protracted court hearings, as this would delay other cases.

Sara Al-Atwi emphasized the capability of women lawyers to do their duty in a professional and responsible manner.

“We can also educate the community on rules and regulations as well as their rights and duties,” she added.

Al-Qarni emphasized that women lawyers should get proper training in order to defend cases of their clients successfully without incurring any losses.


Source :  Saudi Gazette


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