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Wed 3 Sep 2014 01:42 PM

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Saudi's Haia apologises to British man over religious police attack

Four people involved in incident are transferred outside Riyadh and reassigned to administrative jobs

Saudi's Haia apologises to British man over religious police attack

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) has issued a formal apology to the British Muslim man and his Saudi wife after they were attacked by the kingdom’s religious police outside a Riyadh mall.

A short video was released online earlier this week showing what appeared to be part of the attack last Saturday in Hiteen Plaza’s parking lot in Riyadh. In the clip, a man dressed in a traditional Arab thobe jumps on a British man, Peter Howarth-Lees, dressed in a grey t-shirt, before his wife, Abeer, wearing the compulsory black niqab attempts to intervene.

Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) began to follow the couple while they were shopping in the mall. The men objected to Howarth-Lees using a checkout counter manned by a woman at a supermarket in the mall.

According to the Saudi Gazette, the commission said their investigations found that Haia members were involved in the attack and that the one who jumped on the Briton, as shown in the video, was the Haia unit’s chief.

The investigating panel, which included the director general of the commission in the Riyadh region, the head of Riyadh Haia, and director of Haia, found that the Haia members tried to mislead the investigation committee and lied while giving their testimony.

A statement from the commission said they would not tolerate any instances of assault on citizens or foreigners or deprivation of their rights.

Four Haia staffers have been transferred outside Riyadh for their involvement in the attack and have been reassigned to administrative jobs.

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Bemused 6 years ago

Members of The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) lying during an official investigation. Why are they no censored and expelled?

leo50 6 years ago

probably very happy to be re-assigned to administrative jobs in air-conditioned offices. Some punishment for those supposed to set the best of examples.

Doug 6 years ago

Wouldn't lying to an investigation count as promoting vice and preventing virtue?

red 6 years ago

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is entrusted with something, he betrays that trust.”

(Narrated by al-Bukhari, 33; Muslim, 59)

why were they not expelled and punished

Larry 6 years ago

There are many hypocrites among them. They enforce traditions that are not in the Holy Quran. They should be disbanded. You can't force people to love God. Those who love God obey without provocation.