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".

 

Pentagon skeptical about Russia's Syria pullout claims

Senior Saudi prince blasts Trump's "opportunistic" Jerusalem move

Kuwait ruler’s son named defence minister

EU accused of complicity in Libya migrant rights violations

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

Russia begins partial withdrawal from Syria

Russia weary of returning IS jihadists before World Cup, election

6.2-magnitude earthquake strikes Iran

EU says Syria war ‘ongoing’ despite Russia pullout

Istanbul nightclub gunman refuses to testify

Integrating Syrians in Turkey carries implications

US opinion views Muslims and Arabs more favourably but political affiliation makes a difference

Iranian conservative protesters say Trump hastening end of Israel

Jordan referred to UN for failing to arrest Sudanese president

Turkey demands life for journalists in coup bid trial

Netanyahu expects EU to follow suit on Jerusalem

Putin orders withdrawal of ‘significant’ amount of troops from Syria

Putin to meet with Sisi in Cairo

GCC at a critical juncture

Houthi rebels tighten grip on Sanaa after Saleh’s assassination

Israel’s Syrian air strikes risk renewing escalation as Iran expands presence in Golan

Qatar to acquire 24 Typhoon fighters from UK

Bahraini civil society group criticised after Israel visit

Israel PM faces renewed pressure in Europe

Palestinian stabs Israeli guard in ‘terrorist’ attack

UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed says US Jerusalem decision could help terrorists

Fateh encourages more protests, refuses to meet Pence

Chinese electric carmaker to open Morocco factory

Iraqi victory over IS remains fragile

Morocco’s renewed ties with South Africa likely to consolidate support for Western Sahara stance

Lebanese security forces fire tear gas at protestors

Syria’s justice system: ‘working without a written law'

Egypt revives controversial desert capital project

Iran sentences fugitive ex-bank chief to jail

Iraq announces 'end of the war against Daesh'

Israeli air strike kills 2 in Gaza

UK foreign minister in Iran to push for Briton's release

Turkey's Erdogan seeks to lead Muslim response on Jerusalem

Iraqi Christians celebrate in town retaken from IS

Isolated US defiant at UN Security Council

Putin to visit Turkey for talks on Jerusalem, Syria

Protests sweep Muslim world over Jerusalem

US urges Saudi to show caution in regional disputes

Thousands march in Istanbul to protest US Jerusalem move

Bahrain Shiite leader undergoes surgery