The Saudi authorities, by introducing the Absher application, allow men and women to supervise women and migrant workers, Human Rights Watch reports.
The controversial Saudi application Absher, which in a rough translation means “yes, sir”, is the work of the Ministry of the Interior, and is available through Apple and Google online stores. The application, which is installed on more than eleven million mobile phones, even allows married Saudi men to either approve or reject a travel permit for their wives, and receive a notice on their phone using a passport. The application also sends out all information about the selected flight and destination.
Absher is a government web portal that helps Saudi citizens and other residents restore passports, obtain identity cards and issue work permit permits.
Violence against women
According to the strictly restrictive legislation of the Surabaya kingdom, women are equated with minors, so without the approval of a male guardian they can not report, separate, travel, hire, be released from prison, or have surgery. They should also not be free to hang out with people of the opposite sex.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) therefore demanded from online stores to disable access to the application, as they believe that Absher promotes domestic violence and abuse of employees, especially migrants, who are also under the control of companies through this application. The organization believes that it is a serious violation of human rights. According to HRW researcher Roth Begun, Absher is a modern tool for an outdated and repressive system of women’s surveillance. “Saudi Arabia should stop enforcing humiliating and discriminatory laws,” she said.
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