Monday, August 25, 2008

New security rules for Saudi visitors

All passengers arriving at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdul Airport in Jeddah and Prince Muhammad Bin Abdul Aziz Airport in Madina will be fingerprinted under new security plans.

The fingerprinting will begin this Haj season, and is part of a new package designed to eliminate the problem of overstayers, the Saudi Gazette reported. All foreign residents and visitors will be fingerprinted, said Brigadier General Zaid Al-Turaifi, director of the Passport Institute.

When a foreign national is fingerprinted, all his or her relevant data will be stored in a database, the newspaper reported.

Information includes the person’s full name, employer, religion, and country of origin as well as the validity of his or her residence permit (iqama) or visa. A digital photo of the person will also be saved in the database.

Saudi girl, 8, in plea for divorce

A court in Saudi Arabia is reported to be preparing to hear a plea for divorce from an eight-year-old girl who has been married off to a man in his 50s.

The Saudi newspaper al-Watan said on Sunday the girl had been married off to the man by her father without her knowledge.

The child's mother is thought to be pushing for the marriage to be annulled although the father opposes the move.
In April, a court in neighbouring Yemen annulled the arranged marriage of another eight-year-old girl. She had been married to a 28-year-old man.

Child-protection groups say children are often given away in return for hefty dowries, or as a result of old customs in which a father promises his infant daughters and sons to cousins out of a belief that marriage will protect them from illicit relationships. Activists have called for an end to the practice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

no thanks. i think i'll stay away.