Two Saudi Detainees Return From Afghanistan


Saudi DetaineesAfghanistan has transferred two Saudi detainees from one of its prisons into the custody of Saudi Arabia, officials at the Ministry of Interior said on Sunday.

The two men, who were not immediately identified, were repatriated back to the Kingdom following close coordination and consultation between the security agencies of the two countries.

Brig. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, Interior Ministry spokesman, told Arab News in a brief exclusive here Sunday that “the men were jailed in Afghanistan for security reasons.”

The move to repatriate the men comes within the framework of the Kingdom’s consistent efforts to “secure the release and repatriation” of its citizens currently languishing in jails and detention centers abroad.

Al-Turki said that “the Commission of Investigation and Prosecution of Saudi Arabia will now decide the charges based on locally enforceable laws.”

Each case will be treated individually, he said. The defendants will be referred for prosecution if criminal violations are found to have been committed within the Kingdom.

Defendants who are not convicted of criminal offenses committed locally will then be referred to the Prince Mohammed bin Naif Counseling and Care Center for a three-month rehabilitation program toward marriage, employment and education.

He pointed out that the men had been reunited with their families upon arrival in the Kingdom. Details, including the charges for which the men were detained and the length of prison term they served in Afghanistan, were not immediately known.

A group of 65 accused militants from a former US prison in Afghanistan were also released two weeks ago despite protests from the US.

Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan have been close allies and have been working closely on security matters. Moreover, Riyadh has exerted a strong influence on Afghanistan.

The Kingdom is also one of the major donors toward Afghan reconstruction. The main highway project in Afghanistan, for instance, is funded mainly by the US and Saudi Arabia. This is in addition to the largest mosque in Afghanistan, whose construction was also financed by the Kingdom. Two Guantanamo Bay prisoners, Hmoud Al-Inizi and Saad Al-Qahtani, were transferred to Saudi Arabia on Dec. 17 of last year as part of renewed efforts to close the controversial offshore US prison.


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