Saudi Arabia denies consular access to Zaid Hamid

Source: Published in Current Affairs on Thursday, July 2, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Saudi authorities have denied a request by the Pakistan embassy for consulor access to Zaid Hamid, a self-proclaimed security analyst jailed in Saudi Arabia.

In Medina, a team from Counsel General Jeddah was denied access to Zaid Hamid and was not allowed to meet the analyst.

Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah, responding to a question, denied knowledge of the sentence given to Zaid Hamid and said it had not been confirmed by Saudi authorities.

The spokesperson further said that with the efforts of the foreign ministry, Hamid’s wife has been able to meet him at Madina prison.

Diplomatic sources had said that Zaid Hamid was arrested last month for making an alleged provocative speech in Madina criticising the Saudi government.

India, Pakistan exchange list of prisoners

Pakistan and India have exchanged list of prisoners under an Agreement on Consular Access signed between Pakistan and India on 21 May 2008.

"Consistent with the provisions of this Agreement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed over a list of 403 Indian prisoners, including 48 civilians and 355 fishermen, in Pakistan to the High Commission of India in Islamabad today,,FO spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said.

The spokesman said a similar list of 278 Pakistani prisoners, including 251 civilians 27 fishermen lodged in Indian jails was also handed over to the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi.

Both countries are required to exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody twice a year, on 1 January and 1 July, respectively.

The Agreement on Consular Access (2008) makes a provision that an arrest detention or imprisonment of a person of the other country shall be notified to the respective high commission.

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