Khaled Almaeena
Khaled Almaeena

A report in a local paper focused on the damages inflicted on people by false accusations made to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha). Nazaha Chairman Khalid Al-Muhaisen highlighted some of the points and said that care will be taken to protect those against whom allegations have been made.

Personally, I am somewhat suspicious of people who in the “public interest” send letters, whether anonymous or signed, accusing others of wrongdoing.

Before Nazaha was created, it was usual to have those who were accused locked up while investigations were being made. This method itself is very cruel. It’s unfortunate that in our society we have more than our fair share of evil people who thrive on the misery of others.

However, my advice to the authorities is not to jump to conclusions. Every person is innocent until proven guilty. And this message is relevant to all levels of society because it will help safeguard the rights of innocent people.

And it is not only Nazaha that these miscreants approach with their false claims. There are those who use their friendship or position to cause harm to others based on their personal interests, likes or dislikes. And if the victim has no “wasta” (loosely translated as “connections” or “influence”), it is a nightmare.

I know of two such cases that are truly heartbreaking and many more may exist. While we all agree that wrongdoers and those who pose a threat to our security should be dealt with, we cannot condone “collateral damage” in terms of reputation, hardship, jail or fines.

It is, therefore, necessary to have a well-trained, professional, enlightened and modern judiciary that will be part of Saudi Vision 2030.

We should not create a society of whistleblowers or minders who observe others and spy on them and try to damage them. The government must ensure that those who falsely accuse others for their own interests or revenge are duly punished. This will ensure justice for all.

— Reprinted with permission of the Saudi Gazette and Khaled Almaeena. The writer is Editor-at-Large. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter: @KhaledAlmaeena