Deputy Minister of Interior Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz addressed a symposium in Riyadh yesterday on reform of the Kingdom's penal institutions, on behalf of Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, who is in Bahrain for the GCC meeting. At a press conference, Prince Ahmed explained that the symposium, organized by the general directorate of prisons, aims at studying the implementation of programs facilitating the reformation and rehabilitation of inmates, and remarked on the fact that they receive good treatment in the Kingdom, including family visits and sentence reduction where merited.
In answer to a question, Prince Ahmed declared that Osama bin Ladin is a dissenter who has taken the side of evil. His Saudi nationality, he said, was withdrawn from him when efforts to return him to the right path failed. As to Saudis being held in U.S. jails, Prince Ahmed confirmed that a number of Saudi students had been detained briefly for interrogation, and added that the Saudi Embassy in Washington DC is following up these cases.
On U.S. strikes against Afghanistan, Prince Ahmed remarked that the Kingdom's stance against terrorism is very clear. He described the events in the United States as ugly crimes and the worst of sins. True Muslims, he said, condemn such terrorist acts: killing innocent people is immoral, inhuman, and totally against Islam. He went on to say that what is happening in Afghanistan is very painful, since bombs do not distinguish between the accused and the innocent; but he put the responsibility on Mullah Omar and Osama bin Ladin, who are sacrificing the Muslim Afghan people. This, he said, is not a jihad (holy war), and what they are doing brings no glory to Islam and should be strongly condemned by all Muslims.