Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Air India pilot writes to MEA alleging human rights violation by Saudi officials in Jeddah

A senior pilot with Air India on Monday wrote to the Ministry of External Affairs alleging that officials in Saudi Arabia had violated the rights of the airline’s staff last week, ANI reported.

On July 26, Saudi Arabian Police had detained four Air India crew members in Jeddah after they failed to produce their original passports. However, the airline staff had only photocopies of the travel permits as they had been asked to deposit their passports at the immigration office.

“This practice is not recognised by Saudi Arabia’s own laws, and it is in direct violation of human rights,” the Air India captain’s letter to the ministry read. “In fact, a member of the National Society of Human Rights has clarified as early as of 2011 that Saudi laws allow a non-Saudi to keep his or her passport and that the passport belongs only to its holder.”

The Air India pilot has called for “swift necessary steps” to resolve the matter to ensure that no citizen is faced with such an ordeal. “We are ready to correspond and cooperate with your office in any matter that is reasonably possible from our side,” the letter added.

Saudi Arabian Police had stopped the Air India staff while they were returning to their hotel after dinner in Jeddah. They did not accept the photocopies of their passports or their Air India IDs as valid permits. They were released from the police station after staff from the hotel they were put up at explained the situation to officers.
01/08/17 Scroll.in