Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz has ordered protection for corruption whistleblowers as part of the kingdom’s anti-corruption measures.
According to the kingdom’s official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Sunday, Salman issued a royal decree ordering authorities to supply protection to administrative and financial whistleblowers after several were mistreated following the submission of information.
The report added that the Chairman of the Saudi National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha) Khalid Al Muhaisen “praised the Royal Order issued by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, which stipulates providing adequate protection to employees who report corrupt financial and/or administrative practices.”
“The employees are not to be threatened regarding job security, benefits or rights. The royal order stipulates that the National Anti-Corruption Commission shall report entities that take disciplinary action against employees or threaten their rights or job benefits if they report corrupt practices to the Commission,” he added.
Muhaisen added that the measures were fully in line with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS)’s modernization plan dubbed Vision 2030.
Hundreds of influential Saudi businessmen and members of the royal family were rounded up in November 2017 in an alleged “anti-corruption campaign” spearheaded by bin Salman.
The purge sent shockwaves through Saudi markets, with reports saying many billionaires moved their assets out of the region to avoid getting caught up in the crackdown.
The Riyadh regime then began securing cash settlement deals with the detainees, receiving hefty amounts in exchange for their freedom.
Earlier in the day, Human Rights Watch (HRW) blasted Saudi Arabia for detaining thousands of people for excessively long periods without trial, saying the kingdom’s justice system is deteriorating.
“If Saudi authorities can hold a detainee for months on end with no charges, it’s clear that the Saudi criminal justice system remains broken and unjust, and it only seems to be getting worse,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at the HRW.
Under the Saudi law, a person may be detained without charge for a maximum of five days, renewable up to six months by a public prosecution order. After six months, the detainee should “be directly transferred to the competent court, or be released.”