Monday, January 24, 2022

Important Reminders When Arrested, Detained and Receiving Sentences in Saudi Arabia

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In Saudi Arabia, among the most common offense committed are consumption of alcohol, unmarried couples together, gambling, and possession of pornographic materials. Such crimes could easily lead to arrest and detention.
Assistance to the Nationals section of the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah offers general advice when a Filipino citizen is arrested and detained by Saudi police.

  • If you have information on the detention of a Filipino, please inform the Consulate General immediately at

    0555-219-613

  • If you are arrested, request the police authorities to contact the Consulate General and tell us of your detention. You may request the presence of a Consulate Representative during the investigation. (Art. 4 Saudi Law of Criminal Procedures)
  • Once detained, inform the Consulate General of your hearing, if possible, so that you could be assisted.

At the time of arrest :

  • Call the nearest Embassy or Consulate to inform of the arrest at 0555-219-613
  • Call your friends and co-workers and request them to report to the Consulate that you have been arrested;
  • Always keep a list of contact numbers in your bag

Know your rights:

  • No person shall be stopped, searched, detained, and imprisoned except in cases provided by law to be done in places designated for such purposes and periods prescribed by competent authorities.
  • You should not be subjected to bodily and moral harm. You should not be subjected to torture and degrading treatment.
  • When you are arrested, you have the right to a lawyer or a representative of the Embassy or Consulate to represent you and assist during the investigation and trial stage;

During investigation:

  • Never admit the crime if you are innocent;
  • Ask for a Consulate representative to be present in the inquiry;
  • Never sign any document which you cannot read and understand
  • Request the police to call the Consulate for assistance

While detained at the police station:

  • Request the police for a visit by a Consulate representative;
  • If you have a cell phone, call your friends and request to report your detention to the Consulate;
  • Most likely, if the police cannot extract any information, they will call the Consulate for assistance;

When taken into custody by prison authorities:

  • When being investigated by Saudi authorities, do not volunteer any information if not asked; limit your statements to facts;
  • Deny statements or acts which you have not said or done;
  • Wait for the visit of Consulate representative/s and be ready for the interview; Always tell the truth when questioned by Consulate representative/s for this will help them to analyze what course of action to take on your case;
  • Do not keep any vital information when questioned by Consulate representative;

When taken to the Prosecutor’s Office or Court:

  • Request the prison authorities to inform the Consulate of the date and time of the hearing;
  • In case the Consulate representative is not present, request the jail guard to take the name and room number of the judge;
  • Ask for the Case No. and other important information which you can later give to the Consulate;
  • Do not answer any question if you do not understand the problem during the court proceedings; request for a court interpreter;
  • Request the interpreter to explain to you what the judge says or what is written in the record book before signing any document inside the court.

While waiting for court sentence:

  • Visit your Saudi case officer from time to time for updates o your case; tell her you have the right to know what is going on with your case otherwise, you will inform the Consulate about their refusal to provide you with information;
  • Wait for the Consulate representative to visit and course your letters to your family and other requests thru her/him;
  • Request the Consulate representative to follow-up your case or provide her/him if you any critical information relative to your case;

During the imposition of the sentence:

  • Be attentive and listen very well during the proceedings of the trial;
  • If the court asks you if you agree to the punishment imposed on you, make sure the court interpreter has explained the verdict to you before deciding if you do not agree
  • Do not sign anything if you do not agree on the sentence given to you;
  • Ask for a re-trial or appeal your case if you are not satisfied with the sentence;
  • You are entitled to appeal the penalty imposed on you within 30 days;
  • During the visit of the Consulate representative, request assistance to prepare your appeal to the Tameez Court;

When appealing for your case:

  • Make sure you retain a copy of your letter of appeal before submission to the court;
  • Wait for the decision of the Tameez Court;
  • Request Consulate representative to make representation with concerned Saudi authorities for the speedy deliberation on your appeal through Note to Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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