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‘No action taken to release Pakistani prisoners from Saudi jails’

Senate committee chairperson says prisoners' list hasn't been shared either

SAMAA | - Posted: Jul 4, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Posted: Jul 4, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago

Photo: JPP

There has been no update regarding the release of Pakistani prisoners from Saudi jails, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Senate Committee on Human Rights during a briefing on Thursday. 

“We have been informed that the list of prisoners hasn’t been even shared with the Saudi government,” said committee chairperson Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar while speaking to SAMAA TV.

Related: 125 Pakistani prisoners freed from Saudi jails

In February, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered the immediate release of 2,107 Pakistanis incarcerated in Saudi jails. The move came after Prime Minister Imran Khan requested the crown prince to release the prisoners during his visit to Pakistan.

“Many people were quite happy when they heard the news. We, however, have found out that there has been no progress so far,” Khokhar said. “We had hoped that our brothers imprisoned there will come back soon.”

He remarked that it is quite “disturbing” to know that many prisoners haven’t been released as yet. “We will pursue the case on our level and the government should pursue it too,” he added.

Related: Five reasons why Pakistanis in Saudi prisons fail to get justice

As many as 1.6 million Pakistani migrant workers have been living in Saudi Arabia, making it the country’s second-largest migrant community. At least 2,937 Pakistanis are currently jailed in Saudi Arabia, according to an interior ministry report which was submitted in the Lahore High Court on September 14, 2018.

More Pakistanis are executed in the Kingdom than any other foreign nationals, reports Caught in a Web: Treatment of Pakistanis in the Saudi Criminal Justice System (2018). The research was conducted by the Justice Project Pakistan and Human Rights Watch.

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  1. Naveed  July 4, 2019 4:29 pm/ Reply

    MBS promised. Please honour your promise and release these poor people. Govt of Pakistan should remind and make efforts in this regard.

  2. Adam  July 4, 2019 7:22 pm/ Reply

    Saudis and other arabs should learn to respect Pakistanis/south asians and Pakistani govt must do more to protect its citizens abroad

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Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Prisoners, Human Rights committee

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