CAIRO: Manpower and Immigration Minister Aisha Abdel Hadi issued a decree Wednesday banning new permits for Egyptian doctors wanting to work in Saudi Arabia. The decree came amid public upheaval against the Saudi verdict to imprison two Egyptian doctors: one for 15 years in prison and 1,500 and anther for 20 years.
The decree will be effective from next Thursday and will not apply to Egyptians doctors who already work there.
The case of the Egyptian doctors in Saudi has highlighted public frustration to how Egyptian workers are treated in gulf countries. Activists and family members of the Egyptian doctors demonstrated at the Doctors’ Syndicate Tuesday asking for their release.
Doctor Raouf Amin, 53, was sentenced to 15 years in prison and 1,500 lashes for allegedly driving a Saudi princess to addiction of her pain medication. Amin s original sentence was 7 years and 750 lashes and was doubled at the appeal.
According to reports in local press, the decree came as a result of the stalled negotiations between the Egyptian embassy and the Saudi authorities.
Meanwhile, the Saudi embassy reportedly issued a statement Wednesday saying that the charges against the doctors included drug trafficking and sexual crimes. The Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organization (EUHRO) slammed the Saudi claims in a statement.
The EUHRO said that the verdict didn t mention any drug trafficking nor narcotics but rather the pain killers and medical drugs. It accused the Saudi embassy of throwing false allegations instead of investigating the case with the Saudi authorities.
In a previous interview, Ahmed, Raouf s son argued the addicting claims to be false.
My father was following the addiction relief plan that specialists had designed for the princess, Ahmed told Daily News Egypt in a previous interview. “My father didn t even bring them the medicine; they already had it there.