First Published: 2017-01-03

Unpaid workers get jail, flogging in Saudi Arabia
Dozens of foreign workers sentenced to flogging, prison after participating in protests, destroying public property and 'inciting unrest' while being left waiting for salaries.
Middle East Online

Company developed landmark buildings in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH - Dozens of foreign workers have been sentenced to flogging and jail for unrest during protests over unpaid wages by Saudi Binladin Group several months ago, reports said on Tuesday.

Al-Watan newspaper and Arab News did not give the nationalities of the 49 workers, and foreign embassy staff contacted by AFP correspondents could not immediately provide details.

Al-Watan, which has followed the Binladin case since early last year, said an unidentified number were sentenced to four months' jail and 300 lashes for destroying public property and inciting unrest.

Others were jailed for 45 days by the court in Mecca.

Construction sector workers, chiefly at the Binladin Group and another firm Saudi Oger, were left waiting for salaries after a collapse in oil revenues left the kingdom unable to pay private firms it had contracted.

Arab News reported in May that "unpaid workers" had torched several Binladin Group buses in Mecca.

Authorities confirmed at the time that seven buses were burned but did not give the cause.

A Saudi Binladin Group spokesman could not be reached on Tuesday.

The company, which developed landmark buildings in Saudi Arabia, was founded more than 80 years ago by the father of deceased Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Binladin Group late last year said it had completed payment to 70,000 laid-off employees.

Workers still with the company would get their back pay as the government settled its arrears, the company said.

Tens of thousands of employees of Saudi Oger, led by Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri, were also waiting for wages.

One Oger worker said in December that he had received part of the money but was still owed five months' salary.

The government said in November that it would pay its arrears to private firms by the following month.

But on December 22, Finance Minister Mohammed Aljadaan, after releasing the 2017 national budget, told reporters that money owed to the private sector would be paid "within 60 days".

 

Terrorist bomb attack kills 22 at UK pop concert

Trump says Israelis, Palestinians ‘can make a deal’

Bahrain police raid Shiite sit-in killing one protester

US forces raid Al-Qaeda in Yemen, kill seven jihadists

Faz3a, a local NGO mobilising young people to help Mosul refugees

Prominent Egypt rights lawyer detained

Oil producers to extend output curbs at OPEC meeting

NATO aims to break Turkey-Austria partnership deadlock

Tunisia tensions simmer after protester's death

Five dead in Syria car bomb attacks

Syria civilians suffer deadliest month of US-led strikes

Islamists to join Algeria cabinet despite poor results

Tunisia's 2.1% GDP growth marks economic upturn

Trump meets Palestinian leader in Bethlehem

Istanbul demolishes nightclub targeted in New Year attack

WHO says 315 cholera deaths in Yemen in under one month

Trump seeks Israeli-Palestinian peace, lashes out at Iran again

Tunisia police use tear gas on protesters

Palestinians protest for hunger-striking prisoners

GCC and Arab League call for Yemen unity

Turkey's alleged coup ringleaders stand trial

Iran’s reformists sweep to power across major cities

Israel makes concessions to Palestinians 'at Trump's request'

Ivanka hales Saudi progress on women’s rights

Looming showdown between Egypt’s president, judges

Netanyahu says will discuss peace efforts with Trump

Bahrain sentences Shiite cleric to suspended jail term

Trump scandals no issue for Saudi says minister

Saudi women celebrate easing of guardianship system, call for more freedoms

Hamas sentences three to death for commander assassination

Rouhani faces fight with hardliners in US, Iran after election win

Trump to urge Muslim leaders to fight extremism in major speech

Trump tells Sisi he will soon visit Egypt

US, Saudi agree arms deals worth almost $110 billion

Iran's Rouhani wins re-election

Egypt marks MS804 crash with ceremony and no information

Trump lands in Riyadh on first foreign tour

IS bombing kills 35 in Iraq

US Pentagon plans to 'annihilate' IS

Dictator's nephew apologises to Tunisia for corruption

Trump heads to Saudi Arabia as domestic scandals mount

Ebrahim Raisi: hardline challenger in Iran

US and Saudi Arabia blacklist Hezbollah 'terrorist'

UN envoy slams deadly attack in Libya's south

Syria, allies condemn attack by US-led coalition