Search, seizure of cell phones in Saudi schools illegal: Experts

Illustration. A number of legal experts in Saudi Arabia has said that searching and confiscating cellphones in school classrooms is illegal.(Onur Binay on Unsplash)

Confiscation of mobile phones in Saudi schools is considered illegal by legal experts in the Kingdom, as the action can only be carried out on court orders.


Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – A number of legal experts in Saudi Arabia has said that searching and confiscating cellphones in school classrooms is illegal.


Speaking to the Okaz/Saudi Gazette recently, these legal experts said that confiscation of phones can only be made by a court order.

Their remarks came in the midst of frequent complaints from school students and their parents about the confiscation of their mobile phones while using them during school class hours. There were also complaints that some of these cell phones are being kept in the custody of the school authorities throughout the academic semester.

Lawyer Nujoud Qassem said that the search and confiscation of mobile phones from male and female students in schools and refusal to return them is an illegal act.


“Confiscation of phones from students in the event of using them during school hours is illegal. In the event of committing any violation of the school rules by the students, the school authorities shall hand over the phone after taking a pledge from the guardian not to repeat the violation,” she said, while noting that the phone can be confiscated in the event of repetition of the violation during the class hours.

On his part, legal consultant Dr. Omar Al-Khouli emphasized that confiscation can only be made by a court ruling. “Parents may file a complaint with the police in the event of confiscating mobile devices of their wards after committing the first violation of using them during school hours,” he said.

Lawyer Ashraf Al-Sarraj said that the confiscation of mobile phone from students when it is used during school hours is an explicit violation on the part of the school authorities. Al-Sarraj urged parents to lodge complaints with the Ministry of Education against the school in the event of such violations.


According to the legal regulations, the ministry will communicate with the school administration to verify the validity of the matter and hold the culprit accountable,” he said, while expressing hope that the ministry will formulate a clear mechanism for dealing with such violations so as to ensure that school officials do not resort to taking punitive measures that are in violation of the regulations.

Source: Saudi Gazette

Reporting by Indonesia Window


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