Legal hurdles delay deportation of Indians in Saudi Arabia

October 30th, 2008 - 2:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Oct 30 (IANS) Legal hurdles are delaying the deportation of a large number of Indians who are imprisoned in a deportation centre in Saudi Arabia’s eastern port city of Dammam.Many of them have been caught without identity papers or visas in various parts of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and face police and legal action.

“They have been caught for various offences like not possessing valid identity papers or visas,” an official in the Indian embassy in Riyadh told IANS over phone.

“Their deportation has been delayed as the processing of the large number of cases against them takes time. We have requested the local authorities to expedite the process,” he added.

Though he couldn’t confirm the exact number of Indians in the deportation centre, he said that the number had gone up significantly in the last 10 days.

A report in the Saudi Gazette newspaper put the number of Indians in the centre at 400.

The report, quoting social workers who visited the centre, said that the inmates were awaiting emergency certificates (ECs) or out-passes from the embassy to enable their deportation.

But, the embassy official said, the issuance of ECs alone was not enough as Saudi authorities have to first complete the proceedings against each case before deporting the inmate.

“We have issued around 1,400 ECs to that particular Dammam centre. Last week alone, we issued 102 ECs. Even then, they are in the camp as the local authorities are processing their cases. The processing of the cases under local rules takes time,” he said.

“Visits of embassy officials to the Dammam centre have also been increased as we are looking at all the cases,” he said.

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