Security measures at residential compounds discriminate against Saudis


Al-Riyadh newspaper

A number of new residential compounds for expatriates in Riyadh have implemented security measures that discriminate against Saudis.

Any Saudi man or woman who wears the national dress and wants to enter a residential compound for expatriates has to wait until the supervisor in charge permits them to enter. This is the case even if the individual has been invited by a resident.

What goes on inside compounds is private and we have no business interfering. This is the right of residents and we understand that. However, we do not understand why people are discriminated against because they are wearing national Saudi dress. It is strange and shocking that Saudis are prohibited from entering compounds located in their own country.

Discrimination on the basis of color, gender or nationality is unacceptable according to all human rights conventions. The discrimination against Saudis is also unacceptable.

Some justify this discrimination by saying that these security measures are in place to protect expatriate residents. We all remember the Al-Qaeda attacks on compounds housing expatriates in 2003. It is important that security measures are in place to protect everyone. However, the measures in place at compounds should be reconsidered so that the rights of citizens are also protected and respected.

I know that some Saudis criticize European lifestyles and the way of living inside these compounds. However, if anyone wants to inflict harm on the residents of a compound, then he will probably not be dressed in the national Saudi attire. Therefore, the superintendents of these residential compounds should find another way to protect their residents, a way that does not discriminate against people.

I hope the Ministry of Interior reconsiders and reviews the security procedures at these compounds and ensures that the dignity of citizens is always protected.