Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Arabia: Human Rights Association Tackles Citizenship Issues | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Mecca, Asharq Al-Awsat- The National Human Rights Association (NHRA) is looking into requests from members of the kingdom’s foreign communities regarding the possibility of acquiring the Saudi citizenship, which is subject to applicable rules and regulations and in coordination with the Interior Ministry and higher state authorities.

NHRA Deputy Chairman Dr. Muflih al Qahtani told Asharq al Awsat that the association has received many requests about the Saudi citizenship from long-term residents, those of alleged Saudi descent or those who are actually of Saudi descent but do not have the relevant documents.

Al Qahtani did not elaborate on the number of cases considered by the NHRA or the origin of communities that have lodged complaints with the association, stressing the importance of resolving these cases, which, if left for long, would double in number and might consequently have several security, social and political risks.

The NHRA Deputy Chairman confirmed that foreign community issues do receive follow-up from the NHRA, pointing out that the problem lies with determining the legal status of those with legal residency, which gives them the rights ensured by the kingdom’s laws, and of those who are not.

He added that based upon the above, applicable procedures will be followed in the cases of illegal residents, but those meeting citizenship requirements would be able to utilize such rights.

Great in numbers, foreign communities are densely based in western Saudi Arabia, particularly Mecca, Jeddah and Medina.