Saudi Arabia to deport 526 foreigners convicted on ‘terror’ charges
Saudi policemen gather around debris following a blast inside a mosque in Qatif. (AFP/File)
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Saudi authorities are planning to deport expatriates who have been found guilty of taking part in planning or carrying out militant attacks.
“They will be deported to their home countries upon completion of their jail terms,” said Mansour Al-Qafari, spokesman at the Justice Ministry.
He said 526 convicts, out of 833 serving prison, might be deported under the new plan.
According to court documents, most of the convicts were affiliated with al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood, both of which Saudi Arabia views as "terrrorist" organizations. Others included sympathizers of the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Iran, and Bashar al-Assad's government.
Meanwhile, officials said the number of terror suspects being held by the General Directorate for Investigation has reached 5,176 — 4,343 of them are Saudis and 47 are Yemenis.
Twelve of the detainees are Iranians — nine of whom were arrested in early June.
Among the Iranian suspects, one has been sentenced already, another is being investigated and the documentation work on a third Iranian has been sent to the prosecution.
Security forces arrested 14 people involved in terrorist activities in the first two days of August, according to the Interior Ministry’s website. These suspects are still under investigation.
Authorities have also released 224 people after they were acquitted of the charges.
Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material.