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 +

Sun 21 Dec 2014 09:50 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Saudi's religious police to get training in how best to deal with the public

Recommendation by Shoura Council comes just months after 4 members were disciplined over an attack on a British man and his Saudi wife at a Riyadh mall

Saudi's religious police to get training in how best to deal with the public

The Shoura Council has recommended that members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) undergo special training courses to learn how to better deal with the public, just months after four members were disciplined and demoted over an attack on a British man and his Saudi wife at a Riyadh mall, Arab News reported.

The council said some Haia members suffered from a lack of awareness, a lack of knowledge of how to deal with foreigners and other members of society, as well as a lack of respect for the family unit, the report added.

As a result, it has been recommended they undergo a series of psychosocial sessions before returning to their duties.

A debate by the Shoura Council on the issue concluded that Haia should “intensify training courses offered to members to develop their skills in dealing with the public.”

This summer a 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 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.”

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.