NSHR Helps Expat Woman Get Her Rights From Saudi Husband

By Badea Abu Al-Naja
Arab News | Jeddah
14 Feb 2011

The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) is currently helping a non-Saudi woman to get her rights from her Saudi husband who abused her and threw her out of their home despite a court ordering him to look after her.

The NSHR has accompanied the woman to the General Court in Makkah and helped her secure accommodation at a women’s shelter run by the Ministry of Social Affairs that had earlier refused to provide her with shelter saying she needs to get her husband’s consent.

“My husband violated a reconciliation agreement he signed before a judge at the General Court and drove me out of the country through deception,” the 50-year-old Arab woman, whose name and nationality have not been disclosed, told Arab News.

The woman said she married the man and then came to the Kingdom several years ago. It was only after numerous years of abuse that she sought legal assistance.

“He ill-treated and starved me besides denying other basic necessities of life. Then he threw me out of our house. I had to go begging in the streets for my food and spent my nights in the Grand Mosque. However, a Saudi widow felt pity for me and invited me to live with her. She also helped me seek legal help,” she said.

Subsequently, the court issued a reconciliation verdict in her favor and her husband promised to abide by it in 2009, she said.

“After a few months he took me back. I expressed my wish to visit my aged parents in my country. In fact, we used to visit them annually in the early years of our married life. But this time my husband took my journey as an opportunity to get rid of me. He got my passport stamped with a final exit visa, which I only learned when I was about to return after one month in my home country,” she said.

She said she found it impossible to return to the Kingdom because of the exit visa. “I had to struggle for 18 months to get a visit visa from the Saudi Embassy. That was also only a 30-day visit visa. To make things worse, when I arrived in Makkah, my husband did not allow me to enter our house,” she said.

Again she had to live in the streets. However, some people took her to the NSHR, which sent her to the women’s shelter. But the shelter authorities refused to take her saying she could not be admitted without the consent of her husband, she said.

The NSHR again came to her rescue and brought the issue to the court’s attention. The court looked into the history of her case and noted that the husband was violating his own undertaking two years ago that he would not mistreat his wife. It ordered the concerned departments to see that the man takes back the woman without delay. (end of article)

The official website of the National Society For Human Rights in Riyadh: English Language

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Published by

Tara Umm Omar

American married to a Saudi.

12 thoughts on “NSHR Helps Expat Woman Get Her Rights From Saudi Husband”

  1. >I am sorry, but I do not get it. Most of the women in shelters are those who are ABUSED BY their male family members! And they need to have their consent to be living in a shelter?! This is the most ridiculous and cruel thing! What's happening here?! I do feel, I will explode today.

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  2. >I don't understand why she would need the permission of an abusive husband to seek protection from him in a WOMEN'S shelter. But also why did she keep returning to this man, especially trying hard for 18 months to get back to KSA and be abused again? Co-dependency? Mental control? Or maybe she has children by him that she's attached to?

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  3. >and reg. permission simply court order should be enough! and in the meantime, police report or even medical report showing signs of abuse should do. Incredible, incredible, Kingdom of Humanity – Prophet came to take care after the weakest – women, children, orphans. What are these inhumane procedures!

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  4. >Exactly…how many times do I complain about the hypocrisy behind Saudi Arabia dubbing itself the Kingdom of Humanity. I've said it before and I'll say it again…Saudi Arabia and its people can not realize its full potential unless they change themselves for the better. That goes for any other country! Oh and I'm not talking about protests/demonstrations…I mean within themselves…returning to the fundamentals of Islam (Qur'an/Sunnah)…believing in them, understanding them and practicing them outwardly.

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  5. >What the women who marry Saudis REALLY need is a book about how to GET OUT of Saudi Arabia! I have a friend who was held in a compound against her will and finally escaped after years and literally ran through the streets in the middle of the night hoping not to be ARRESTED for not being ACCOMPANIED BY A MALE RELATIVE…until a kind stranger helped her make a phone call. It took 6 months in hiding and the intervention of George Bush talking to the King of Saudi Arabia to let this woman leave! What about all the women who don't make it? What about the ones who try to escape across the red sea and are MACHINE GUNNED TO DEATH in the boat and their bodies left to rot as an EXAMPLE to everyone else? Yes, the book should be about how to GET OUT of Saudi Arabia after having been lured there by a smooth talking liar of a monster of a "man".

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  6. >Thank you for your concern about non-Saudis married to Saudis but really you should be concerned about yourself. You have such hatred for Saudi men…you must have been on the receiving end of their lying. And I encourage you to put your money where your mouth is and write that book on how to get out of Saudi Arabia if you think you know so much.

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  7. >Disturbed by the news, I allowed myself I have asked Hala al-Dosari about the shelter requirements. This is what she wrote: "women don't have to get a permission from a muhram to file a suit or get to a shelter, in this one case you listed there were some technicality involved, the case wasn't filed and wasn't supported by evidence, this is why it took them sometime to decide on accepting her."

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