(MENAFN - Arab News) A Saudi delegation is currently visiting Iraq to check on increasing complaints of mistreatment of Saudi prisoners there.
"The delegation's visit will include an inspection of the state of the Saudi prisoners in Sousa and Jam Jamal prison wards, which are both situated in the Suleimaniah province in northern Iraq," said Hussein Al-Salama, spokesman of the Saudi Embassy in Jordan.
The delegation, comprising three embassy officials, made arrangements with Iraqi prison authorities for the visit, Al-Hayat daily reported yesterday.
While Jam Jamal only has two Saudi inmates, the Sousa prison has 18, all of whom have been imprisoned for trespassing into Iraqi territory, Al-Salama added.
The delegation is not expected to visit any other jail facility due to poor security conditions in some parts of Iraq. However, another diplomatic source said that once the situation improves, a visit will be arranged to the remaining prisons.
The total number of Saudi prisoners in Iraqi jails is 61.
Negotiations are currently under way to extradite them to the Kingdom.
"The embassy, nevertheless, has still not received any communication regarding this matter. Once we receive any information on the date of their return, we will arrange for their safe transportation back to the Kingdom," the spokesman said.
A lawyer representing the Saudi prisoners in Iraq, Abdul Rahman Al-Jerais, said he received a letter from the Iraqi Embassy in Riyadh stating that the prisoner swap agreement between the two countries will shortly be implemented and 50 Saudis will be in the first group of returnees.
According to Al-Jerais, the letter came in response to his queries regarding the implementation of the swap agreement reached earlier between the two countries.
He said a high profile Iraqi delegation visited Riyadh recently and met with officials from the Ministry of Interior and agreed to implement the prisoner swap accord in line with an agreement signed in 1983. They also agreed on the time scheme of the swap, he added.