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Saudi jihadi fighters to face 3-20 years in jail

A royal decree issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah

Source : Arab News / 4 Feb 2014

Saudi Arabia will imprison citizens who fight in conflicts abroad for anywhere between three to 20 years, according to a royal decree issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on Monday.

The decree also said Saudis who join or endorse groups classified as terrorist organizations, whether inside or outside the country, will also face the same punishment.

Military officers found guilty of committing such a crime will face “a minimum of five years and a maximum of 30 years in prison,” the decree said, adding that the move was aimed at strengthening the Kingdom’s unity and security.

Articles of a previous law for combating terror and terror funding will be applied on those taking part in combat abroad or joining terrorist and extremist organizations. These include articles related to arrest, investigation, evidence collection and trial.

The king said the decree was also aimed at safeguarding the state from criminals who go against its stable and constitutional system and try to undermine its security and stability.

“We also want to protect our people from imported ideologies that target the Kingdom’s security, stability and peace and damage its regional and international reputation and its relations with other countries,” the king explained.

The decree also stated that punishment will be applied to those joining, supporting or sympathizing with terrorist organizations, including extremist religious and ideological groups.

Those who provide any kind of moral or material support to such organizations or promote them verbally or in writing or encourage others to support them will face the same punishment, the decree said.

A high-level committee, which includes representatives from the Ministries of Interior, Foreign, Islamic Affairs and Justice, the Court of Grievances and the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution, has been set up to come up with a list of terrorist organizations.

“The interior minister shall inform us on matters related to arrests, investigation and prosecution of people involved in activities mentioned in the decree,” the king said. The decree comes into effect 30 days after its publication in the official gazette.


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