Saudi rights body: Blocking government services should be used sparingly

Saudi rights body: Blocking government services should be used sparingly
Saudi rights body: Blocking government services should be used sparingly

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Following the case of a citizen who was blocked from using government services through the Absher service, the Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC) said on Monday that it would make recommendations to the authorities to ensure such actions did not affect the basic rights of individuals.

The commission said it would study the implications of such drastic measures on the lives of citizens or residents.

Ahmed Abdulrahman, a 32-year-old Saudi, was reportedly blocked from using government services for delaying the payment of a loan to a bank.

 He said: “I have never in my life felt as useless as I was when I was blocked from (using the) services.

 “My advice is to not get into trouble and pay all of your debts,” he added.

 Esam Gamgamjy, a Saudi businessman, was also blocked from government services for a year and a half.

 He argued that there were other ways to deal with different cases without blocking citizens from using them.

 “Blocking services is like not living, it prevents you from doing anything,” he said.

Promissory notes don’t need to be approved by any government entity, which is an issue of concern, as it opens the door for fraud.

Esam Gamgamjy, A Saudi businessman

 Gamgamjy told Arab News that he was accused of refusing to pay a debt. “The person who accused me of not paying a debt forged my signature on three different promissory notes worth $266,666.”

 He argued that anybody could ask for money by forging an unsuspecting person’s signature in such a manner, and upload the complaint online, getting the victim blocked.

 “It’s that simple. Promissory notes don’t need to be approved by any government entity, which is an issue of concern,” he said.

 Gamgamjy filed an appeal and is still waiting for a hearing date. He cannot travel out of the country and needs a sponsor to help him get government matters done.

 “My family has not been affected by this action. Only I am the victim. I cannot travel or get my passport renewed,” he added.

 In a statement, the HRC stressed the importance of streamlining procedures to ensure matters were properly governed by specific authorities and under judicial orders.

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