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Saudi Arabia Approves Establishing Centre for the Protection of Whistleblowers

Law aims to ensure the safety of individuals who may face threats for providing evidence in legal proceedings

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on April 25, 2024, 10:53:12


saudi arabia, protection for whisteblowers, whistleblowers


Saudi Attorney General and Chairman of the Council of Public Prosecutions, Sheikh Saud Al-Muajab, has authorised the establishment of the Centre for the Protection of Whistleblowers, Witnesses, Experts and Victims.

This is in accordance with Article Four of the Law for the Protection of Whistleblowers, Witnesses, Experts, and Victims. This law, which was approved by the Council of Ministers on February 13, aims to ensure the safety of individuals who may face threats for providing evidence in legal proceedings.

The centre's primary objective is to offer legal protection to individuals at risk of reprisals for disclosing information related to criminal activities. The law guarantees protection from threats, dangers, or harm.

According to Article 14 of the law, individuals are entitled to various forms of protection, including security measures, confidentiality of personal information to shield their identity, temporary or permanent relocation from their workplace, assistance in finding alternative employment and access to legal, psychological and social support.

They are also provided with means to report imminent dangers, change their contact information and residence, receive security escorts or accommodations and receive financial assistance.
The centre will take necessary measures to protect entitled individuals from physical harm and ensure their health, safety and social integration throughout the protection period, respecting their rights and freedoms while imposing only necessary restrictions as per legal provisions.

Protected individuals can request protection following specific procedures and terms outlined in the law. Protection can also be granted without consent if potential imminent danger is identified.
The law establishes criminal penalties, including up to three years' imprisonment and fines up to SR5 million, for offenses against protected individuals.

Judicial authorities are empowered by the law to provide necessary protection to witnesses, victims, whistleblowers, experts, and their families against threats such as assault, retaliation, intimidation, and others.

The law encourages and facilitates information sharing to combat crime while safeguarding informants, witnesses, experts, and victims from attacks, threats, or any actions that may impede the delivery of such information. The law will become effective 120 days after its publication in the Official Umm Al-Qura Gazette on Shaban 20, corresponding to March 1, 2024.

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