So few days ago in Dammam some members of the religious police somehow got the impression that they could storm a women’s public restroom on the courniche to arrest someone. They went in and moments later emerged dragging a girl who was crying, screaming and begging them to leave her alone. She tried to run away but fell on the ground. The Haya’a men apparently thought it was okay to hit and kick her, so they did that in the street while people were watching, then they carried her and threw her in the back of their jeep.

Al-Hayat daily, who published the story on Monday, said they tried to contact Haya’a offices and spokesmen in Dammam and Riyadh for comments but none of them returned the calls or text messages. Probably we were overoptimistic when we hoped that the new head of the religious police would keep his men under control. Probably.

UPDATE 23/12/09: According to al-Watan daily, the girl has been released. The newspaper quoted security sources who said the girl was arrested based on the suspicion of a khulwa, while the boy who allegedly was with her managed to escape. The haya’a in the EP declined to comment on the case. The police said they received the case and they are searching for the boy.

25 thoughts on “Brutality

  1. If these practices continue, without doubt it will blow back in their faces. Its very dangerous to continue these provoking actions and it would lead to very devastating events. After much exposure to their recent blunders and the aftermath.. people are getting the message, if you complain you are forfeiting your right.. they will get a free get out of jail card and walk out like they did nothing, you will just waste time waiting for something to happen in the court, which takes a lot of time and merit no results. This aptitude to the reality of the situation will leave people with little option but to retaliate to brutality with immediate responses to protect themselves. I fear this could escalate into a situation where it could turn to a deadly outcome.

  2. I’d actually wait for this story to be verified. The news article is very very vague with so few details. Even though they say the reporter was an actual witness to this, they didn’t even mention the number of haya men, the exact location of this incident or even the liscense plate number of the jeep (which they “witheld” from publishing ).

  3. Problem is, they are not doing it for the love of forbidding infedelity, they’re doing it for exploitation!
    Why wouldn’t the Haya’a spokesperson and officials comment and do something about it?
    We don’t want them to change the world!! Just try to give positions and powers to individuals who are well educated and have degrees!!! Not idiots with a jeep running around finding innocent girls to exploit!!!

  4. If this incident has been verified, these people should be persecuted!

    I am not sure I can think of any kind of ‘a crime’ that this girl could have done to deserve such a treatment.

    However, Mohamed S. has some good arguing points above. In addition to that, how come nobody tried to help that poor girl? Is it possible that there have been some witnesses who just stood there watching? Something seems to be wrong in this particular point!

    • I think it’s strange that when a government official or someone issues a statement, we nitpick it and psychoanalyze nearly every word (which is good! don’t get me wrong!) but when someone says “The haya’a did something bad!” we except it without question or debate.

      Another issue that is strange, the article says the women ran away and fainted (not simply fell over). So this women has the strength overpower a group of haya’a men but can’t run a minute before fainting? This story has a lot of holes and I think it’s strange that the phone calls weren’t returned despite this issue not being as well known and therefore the officials wouldn’t have to be ignore their phones due to a barrage of press questions.

      • I agree with sounding a cautionary note. I guess part of the problem is the reputation of the bodies being discussed. There is a willingness to believe this story based on past problems with the Hay’a; whereas another agent of the state may fair better by reputation.

  5. it is very much understandable in a society where women are considered as a lower class than men and abusing a woman in public lifted a man’s honor.

  6. Gents

    why the saudi goverment keeping this type of animal at Alkhobar area.
    let to go and fight at Yemani border.
    our King very nice heart man.
    delete complete the Police and let the peoples live in peace,

  7. Dreadful–if they were responsible police there would be more trust in accompanying them, and having someone along to “discuss things” at the police station as would normally happen for something like this elsewhere. Obviously not.

    All police forces have a vice squad, usually for far more serious infractions, but they are under the same laws of transparency as the rest of the force, and even there abuses happen.

    This is one area in need of major reform.

  8. How “Ironic” when read the Arabic article the readers all demanded a “tangible” evidence for the incident (as if how dare you accuse the religious police) and no one ever thought that the religious police NEVER accused anyone based on tangible evidence !!!

  9. I can’t understand this country! On one hand we have KAUST with all the contradictions that it brought (brings) to our society. Suddenly every buddy was says that unrelated men & women can be together, even the most religious people agreed!
    Then on the other hand, we see this happening on our streets!
    I can learn to adapt to Dubai’s life style as well as to the Tabliban’s but I can’t adapt to two styles in the same place this is just wrong and somebody needs to point it out.
    I try to write about it but they won’t publish it..I know..
    Thanks Ahmed for keeping us informed!

  10. well, whatever the girl did , even if the article is not giving every single details,, the Haya should respond with anything at least expalin or deny! but staying silent will only give the impression that our opion dont matter , considering their duties which they getting paid for, are intervering with our life .
    such a silent is killing every good experience anyone has with them.
    i hope you ahmed will keep the story updated for the next few centuries…. : |

  11. I truly don’t understand how these men could first of all enter a woman’s restroom (!) and secondly how they could lay a hand on a woman who is not related to them. Everything about this is wrong on so many levels. If they are supposed to be the “religious” police, why don’t they follow the religious laws????

  12. Horrible…What on earth is happening and king Abdulla and Mrs. Clinton don’t know about it..It is such a horrible thing to happen!!

  13. It is questionable whether the Committee can ever be kept under control.

    The arrogation by the clerical establishment of law enforcement makes this unlikely.

    So long as the clerical establishment has the power to nullify or amend at their sole discretion and at will any other law, such incidents will inevitably happen.

  14. i had to comment.

    i just hate what they did in the 1st place by entering a women’s room then kicking the poor woman on the floor.

    no manners and no respect what so ever.

    So embarrassing for them in the eyes of the public and in the eyes of God.

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