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29 Filipinas in Saudi jail freed

/ 07:30 PM May 19, 2011

RIYADH—Twenty-nine imprisoned Filipino women in Saudi Arabia have been pardoned by the government, the Philippine Embassy announced.

The 29, who were jailed at the Al-Nisa prison in Riyadh, departed Tuesday night for the Philippines, the embassy said.

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“The inmates were women charged with petty crimes that are covered by the amnesty. Their crimes included theft and immorality,” an embassy official told Arab News on Wednesday. He added that the plane tickets were provided either by the employers or by the Saudi government.

The official said that some of the offenders had served their sentences and had no private liabilities, which means that their employers had not claimed any damages.

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The announcement came on the heels of Migrante-Middle East’s call for the embassy to include the names of 50 other overseas Filipino workers recommended for royal pardon.

“These OFWs detained at the Al-Hail jail were charged with petty crimes, and some of them have served their jail sentences,” Migrant-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona told Arab News. He added that his organization “almost daily receives calls from the OFWs with the request to be included in the embassy’s list recommended for royal pardon.”

“We are requesting the Philippine Embassy to provide us with an update and indicate who among them have been granted pardon, who have been cleared and whose case is still being heard,” Monterona said.

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TAGS: Amnesty, Crime, Filipino, Overseas Filipino workers, Prison, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Women
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