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Rights awareness program under way.

Byline: Badea Abu Al-Naja

MAKKAH: The head of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), Mufleh Al-Qahtani, said a committee is currently organizing a seminar to raise awareness of human rights and include the topic in the school curriculum.

The NSHR recently held a seminar to increase awareness of the rights of retirees. Al-Qahtani said recommendations made at the seminar would be sent to the higher authorities.

He said that knowledge about individual's rights is still low among officials and members of the public and that responses from some government departments to the NSHR activities are improving, but are still below the desired level.

He hoped it would improve gradually. "When we prepare reports, our main purpose is not to look for mistakes but we, as an organization, provide guidance about what could be done to improve the situation. We hope the situation gets better in the future," Al-Qahtani said.

He stressed the importance of highlighting cases of domestic violence, adding that many societies are plagued with this problem. He also spoke about Saudis involved in legal cases abroad. "The NSHR is now following up on many cases of Saudis in countries outside the Kingdom such as Syria, the US, Jordan and Iraq. We are in contact with Saudi embassies in these countries to provide legal protection to Saudis there and ensure that they are guaranteed fair trials," he said.

"The NSHR will not hesitate to receive complaints from those who have faced injustices and we will try to find out the reason. The NSHR will provide them with free legal guidance and consultation. If they still do not get justice the NSHR will approach the authorities concerned," he added.

He said there were 13 Saudis at Guantanamo Bay and that the NSHR was following up their cases. He said a number of American lawyers had volunteered to follow up the cases of two of them. He added that the NSHR is in contact with these lawyers.

Copyright: Arab News 2009 All rights reserved.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:May 23, 2009
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