Ambassador: No Egyptian political prisoners in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Ambassador to Cairo Ahmed Abdel-Aziz al-Qattan on Thursday denied that there are Egyptian political prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

Qattan, who is also the Saudi delegate to the Arab League, explained that the Egyptian prisoners in Saudi Arabia were convicted in security and criminal cases.

“The issue of Egyptian prisoners in Saudi Arabia is closely followed up by both our governments,” he said, adding that he sent a list with the names of all prisoners, their charges and the sentences against them to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry in December 2011.

“There are 38 Egyptians detained for investigation,” he said. “They will be tried at the earliest opportunity.” He also said his government is keen on resolving this matter in line with the fraternal relations between the two countries and in accordance with Islamic law.

On Saturday, Qattan said that there are 1401 Egyptian prisoners in Saudi Arabia, and that the Egyptian Foreign Ministry has been briefed on them.

Egypt's Sada al-Balad news website claims based on media reports that there are 50 Egyptians imprisoned in Saudi Arabia on political charges.

Egyptian diplomatic sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Monday that the Foreign Ministry did not receive a list with the names of those prisoners, and that the ministry is following up on the matter with the embassy in Riyadh and the consulate in Jeddah.

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