Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- The civil association of human rights in Saudi Arabia asserted that large cities such as Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah have the highest record of abuse and human rights violations due to the high population density and the numerous judicial overlaps between authorities that are concerned with examining these cases. Involved
Dr. Mofleh Al Qahtany, vice president of the Human Rights association, told Asharq Al Awsat that the association resorts to the assistance of volunteers in areas where the association does not have branches and where it plans to establish offices in the future. Regarding any financial crises within the association that had led to the establishment of a committee for investment affairs, the vice president said, “We are not suffering from any problems and our financial status is at its best. We only aim at providing sufficient revenues to establish other branches in administrative areas and continue with the association’s activities.”
Concerning the reasons for the founding of offices in major areas of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Al Qahtany asserted that this would be in accordance with studies that cover the population density in each area as the high population could eventually lead to an overlap between different authorities or a violation of human rights and abuse. In remote areas, the studies are focused mainly upon the issues of employment, education and economic rights.
Al Qahtany states that numerous requests have been made by citizens to attain membership to the association. These requests would be examined and the fields of specialization of each applicant would be considered according to a set of procedures that would determine their acceptance or rejection. He asserted that legal specialists examine all aspects of cases that are presented to the association based on their experience and reference to laws and regulations that may be related to any case.
According to the statistics collected by the association itself, the organization has received approximately 5600 cases over the past two years. Prisoner complaints accounted for 25% of these cases, whereas domestic violence accounted for 22%. On the other hand, complaints filed from local judicial authorities against administrative and governmental authorities represented 21% of cases presented to the association, whereas labor cases represented 12 % of cases received by the association since it was first established. The association represented another 20% of various cases.
The association had formed a committee in cooperation with the ministry of justice that would focus upon researching joint cases especially concerning complaints about the judicial system. The association had received a number of objections from Saudi citizens and foreign residents asserting that some judges do not implement the rules of the judicial system and have not recognized the rights of these people. The association is working to form a committee with the ministry of social affairs that aims at solving cases of domestic violence. The association of human rights intends to establish branches for the association in all 13 provinces. The association currently has three branches, in addition to the headquarters based in Riyadh. The branch in the holy city of Mecca serves the western region, whereas Jizan is concerned with the southern region. A new branch will be founded in the eastern area. All offices will be receiving and dealing with the complaints of Saudi citizens both from within the Kingdom and outside it.