We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Mon 8 Sep 2014 10:57 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Saudi's Haia members to appeal verdict on Riyadh mall attack

Religious police claim they were defending themselves against Briton

Saudi's Haia members to appeal verdict on Riyadh mall attack

Four members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia), who were disciplined and demoted over an attack on a British man and his Saudi wife, have said they will appeal the verdict of the internal investigations and the subsequent disciplinary action taken against them.

The British man, Peter Howarth-Lees and his Saudi wife, Abeer, were attacked by members of Haia outside a mall in Riyadh.

An investigation carried out by senior members of Haia in Riyadh found that the four members tried to mislead the investigation committee and lied while giving their testimony.

The Haia members concerned were transferred outside Riyadh for their involvement in the attack and have been reassigned to administrative jobs.

However, the Saudi Gazette, quoting the Makkah Daily, reported that the four have refused to accept the disciplinary measures taken against them, which had come directly from the organisation’s chairman Abdullatif Al Asheikh, and now intend to appeal the sanctions to the Board of Grievances.

One of the men, speaking to Makkah Daily, said: “We totally reject the decision. We will appeal and ask for the case to be referred to the Shariah courts.”

The four members said they were surprised at how quickly their appeal letter had been leaked to social media.

They say that during the incident they were defending themselves against Mr Howarth-Lees, whom they say was attacking them.

“The British man refused to show us his identity papers. He also refused to show them to the police patrol, which had to withdraw after that,” the unidentified Haia member told Makkah Daily.

A lawyer told Saudi Gazette that the Haia should have opened the case against them through the general attorney, instead of taking internal disciplinary measures against its four members.

“The Haia should have observed the rules of the civil service. If there is a misuse of power, it will be the British man and his wife who will take their case to the CIB (Control and Investigation Bureau),” Mohammed Al Sinaidi said.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.
Samy Ali 6 years ago

The security cameras at the mall recorded the whole incident .
It showed how arrogant the British man was!
He refused to show his I.D. card to the Saudi Police! Why?
He knew...he did something wrong..!!!! against the Haia

who2 6 years ago

If that was the case, put it on youtube for us all to see!

However it wont be, because it would show the reason why the Haia were disciplined and demoted

Doug 6 years ago

We'd also probably end up in the situation where the uploader would be prosecuted while those caught committing crimes have no punishment. Remember what happened to that person who uploaded a video of an Indian motorist being assaulted by a GCC national? That's right, the uploader was arrested and prosecuted because by uploading the video of the GCC national breaking the law, he 'offended the dignity and damaged the reputation' of that GCC national - which is a crime.

procan 6 years ago

Doug... I for sure will not forget that incident when ever I read hear or see any legal matter in the GCC I run it threw that filter and shake my head and just move on to the next story.

Matt Williams 6 years ago

Rubbish!!! They targeted him, where is this video showing this arrogance and refusal to provide ID...nowhere as per usual but the one of them jumping on him is available for all to see!! How utterly profane to persecute people like this. Hey I tell you what! Shall we get the Bahrain govt to get some religious police for Saudi visitors?? You are gonna need acres of CCTV storage data for that! Don't make me laugh with your double standards pal!

Chalky6766 6 years ago

It's on there unless it's been removed and they deserved punishment it was clear assault.

who2 6 years ago

How could I forget. I must be getting old.
Thanks for reminding me Doug.

Still at least here the perpetrators, who are the supposed defenders, were dealt with and pretty quickly too.

Chalky you are correct the ones that beat the innocent husband and wife deserved their punishment.

BritInKSA 6 years ago

Brits need to be given a stern message, no leniency for your nationality. Behave or face the wrath of the law. Don't xpect 5-start treatment because of your nationality.

leo50 6 years ago

Sami Ali; and the higher Haia authorities disciplined their own members even though there was video showing his arrogance etc.? I have to say it never happened like this in my Saudi days.

Doug 6 years ago

Well, the British man's story is that he WAS following the law - he was instructed to follow his SAUDI wife to a checkout, at which point, the Haia allegedly attacked him. It is not 'expecting 5* treatment' to expect not to be punched in the face for following orders.

May I remind you that it was the HAIA members who were found to have committed a crime (lying under oath, assault) and yet they don't seem to be punished. Does the law therefore only apply to Brits, and Saudis are exempt from their own laws?