Mubarak’s Intervention Ends Two Year Ordeal for Egyptian Doctors
Cairo: The case of two Egyptian doctors working in Saudi Arabia who were facing severe punishment and a sentence of 1500 lashes, which has generated controversy and debate about the mistreatment and violations against Egyptian workers rights in the kingdom, came to an end after President Hosni Mubarak’s meeting with the Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh last week. The meeting and calls from human rights organizations to release them led to the release of the two doctors, according to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, ending 2 years of suffering by their families.
The Doctors Union welcomed the decision and thanked the President for his efforts and interventions, aimed at the release of the Egyptian doctors held in Saudi jails. During his visit last Tuesday to King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in Riyadh, Mubarak managed to get a royal pardon for them.
The doctors were sentenced to prison in Saudi Arabia for a period ranging from 15 to 20 years, in addition to 1500 lashes for being the reason behind a Saudi Princess’s addiction while they were treating her, a charge that was described by many Egyptian human rights organizations as “fabricated”.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Minister of Foreign Affairs, claimed that the Saudi authorities released the Egyptian doctors, Dr. Raouf Amin El-Orabi Pasha and Dr. Shawki Ibrahim Abed Rabbo, who were accused of facilitating the addiction of the wife of a Saudi prince, noting that the decision to release them was the result of President Mubarak’s talks in Saudi Arabia.
The doctors had already received the first group of lashes, 70 each, in November.
The doctors arrived in Cairo on Thursday the 24th of December and were received and greeted by delegates from the Foreign Ministry and MP Mostafa Bakri.
Dr. Raouf Arab, who spent about two and a half years in jail in Saudi Arabia, said that he had lost all hope of being released, but thanked Mubarak for his intervention and the King for his pardon.
As reported earlier by Bikya Masr, Egypt’s Minister of Manpower and Immigration, Aisha Abdel Hady, issued a resolution to stop dealing with 33 companies and establishments in three Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, due to what she described as, “deliberate insults and offenses,” against Egyptian workers in the countries.