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Saudi Human Rights Group Holds Meeting with Religious Police Chief | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- The leadership of the [Saudi] National Society for Human Rights [NSHR] spent 75 minutes with Sheik Abdul-Aziz Bin Humain, the new head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, in a meeting that sources described as “candid.” It seemed that the outcome of the meeting, according to the two separate statements issued by the two parties, would be the establishment of greater mutual understanding between the two parties with regards to the nature of each other’s work. Sources also informed Asharq Al-Awsat that yesterday’s meeting took place in order “to determine failures and faults rather than to launch mutual accusation [against each other].”

The NSHR believes that there is a need to “precisely define the powers and prerogatives of members of the CPVPV in order to safeguard their reputation and ensure their safety after some were reported to have been assaulted” in the past. An agreement on the need to prepare a memorandum of understanding between the two parties was finalized between the NSHR delegation led by Dr. Mufleh Al-Qahtani, and the CPVPV leadership. The press releases by the two parties did not mention the contents of the proposed memorandum of understanding that is to be signed soon, but it is likely to deal with members of the CPVPV receiving special training on how to maintain human rights in the performance of their work. The CPVPV has [previously] held training courses for its employees to familiarize them with Criminal Procedure, which safeguards the freedoms of the individuals who may be subject to arrest or inspection.

The Press release issued by the NSHR following its visit to the CPVPV had a diplomatic tone, contrary to a [previous] strongly-worded statement issued following a meeting with former Minister of Health Doctor Hamad Al-Mane’a. In this diplomatic statement, the NSHR offered Sheik Bin Humain “congratulations on his appointment as Director of the CPVPV, and all the success in his career.” The press release also stated that during the meeting the discussion between the NSHR and the CPVPV focused upon “issues of mutual concern.”

Following the meeting, Mufleh Al-Qahtani, the new President of the NSHR said “I put forward a number of general issues during the meeting and we received detailed answers, and there was cooperation. We are very pleased with this meeting, and there will be a coordinated framework between the NSHR and the CPVPV.”

The CPVPV Director issued a statement detailing the NSHR’s visit to the CPVPV, and quoted NSHR President Al-Qahtani praising the developments made by the CPVPV in areas of research, training, and strategic planning.