Common Offenses in Saudi Arabia
- Drinking, selling or manufacturing alcohol
- Caught with boyfriends/girlfriends
- Possession of pornographic materials
- Soliciting sex.
- Using or selling drugs
- Gambling, Lotto, Sabong
- Using fake documents
- Embezzlement in various forms
Arrest and Detention
- The vast majority of Filipinos in the Kingdom are productive and law-abiding residents of the Kingdom. Be that as it may, a knowledge of Saudi rules on arrest is beneficial for Filipinos to protect their rights.
- No person shall be arrested, searched, detained, imprisoned except in cases provided by law to be done in places designed for such purposes and for periods prescribed by competent authorities. (Art. 2) Criminal Procedure Law
- Arrested person should NOT be
- Subjected to bodily harm, moral harm, torture or degrading treatment. (Art 2)
- Any accused person has the right to a lawyer or a representative to represent him during investigation and trial stages (Art 4)
- Sentences are appealable by the convicted person or by the prosecutor. (Art 9)
THE BASIC RULE ON ARREST: NO PERSON SHALL BE ARRESTED EXCEPT ON BASIS OF ORDER FROM A COMPETENT AUTHORITY
The Saudi Criminal Procedures provides two instances for an arrest to be made:
- Based upon a warrant of arrest issued by a competent authority
- For acts committed in flagrante delecto (caught in the act)
Rights of arrested person:
- To be treated decently
- Not to be subjected to bodily harm
- Not to be subjected to moral harm
- To be advised on the reason of his detention
- To be entitled to communicate with any person of his choice to inform him of his arrest.
- To be imprisoned or detained only in places designated for such purpose.
- A prisoner or detainee shall have the right to submit, at any time, a written or verbal complaint to the prison or detention center officer and request that he communicate it to a member of the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution and detention authorities must provide the prisoner or detainee an acknowledgement of receipt.
The Consulate could become the representative of an accused because International Law grants the Consulate certain Consular Powers with respect to representing Filipinos
The 1963 Geneva Convention on Consular Relations specify consular functions as consisting of:
- Protecting the interest of Filipinos within limits permitted by international law (art. 5, par (a))
- Helping and assisting Filipinos (art. 5, par (e))
- Representing or arranging representation to Filipinos before tribunals and other authorities for purposes of obtaining, in accordance with law, provisional measures for the preservation of rights and interest of Filipinos when Filipinos are at that time unable to protect their rights or interests (art. 5, par (i))
In addition, it is assumed that:
- Consular officers shall have free access to Filipinos, and Filipinos should have free access to Consular officers (art 36, par (a))
- If the Filipino so requests, authorities shall inform, without delay, inform the Consulate that the Filipino is arrested, committed to prison, under custody pending trial or is detained in any manner. Such communication should be relayed without delay and the Filipino should be informed without delay that he has such right to communicate.
- Consular officers shall have the right to visit a Filipino who is in prison, custody or detention and to converse and correspond with him to arrange legal representation.
Assistance to Nationals Cases
ATN cases are the primary responsibility of PCG’s Assistance to Nationals Section. A quick look at the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and consular functions illustrate the heavy emphasis that consulates shall function within the framework and limits of the laws and regulations of the receiving State. In this case the Consulate exercises its functions in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Republic Act 8042 manifests the government’s commitment to protect the rights and promote the welfare of migrant workers, their families and other overseas Filipinos in distress. In response to this mandate PC Jeddah’s Assistance to Nationals Section provides assistance to Filipinos in the 7 regions under its consular jurisdiction.
The ATN Section extends assistance in the following areas:
- Legal assistance is given to Filipinos facing labor or criminal cases with provisions for fees to hire legal counsel, bail bonds, court fees and charges, as well as for other litigation expenses, contingent upon approval by the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs.
Police and Detention Cases
- ATN Section assists Filipinos in filing complaint against their employers by aiding them in the police stations, the General Prosecution and Investigation Office, hospitals and other venues preliminary to filing a case.
- ATN Section regularly conducts jail visitation to Filipinos in detention to look after their welfare.
Taken From: Philippine Consulate General – Jeddah