Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi religious police clamp down on rogue members | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – Well-informed sources have revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the President of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice [CPVPV], Sheikh Abdullatif Al Al-Sheikh, has taken the decision to suspend two CPVPV agents and deduct half their salary, while they will also no longer be permitted to participate in any field operations, after they were accused of physically assaulting a member of the public.

Al-Sheikh took this decision after a Saudi citizen issued complaints against the two unnamed CPVPV agents. The Saudi citizen, who was held by the two CPVPV agents in Riyadh more than one month ago, accused them of physically assaulting him and being responsible for his wife collapsing in public. This complaint was brought before a Riyadh police station, which transferred the case to the relevant authorities.

The CPVPV president’s decision to suspend the two agents comes after he issued a memo in early April to all CPVPV branches across Saudi Arabia stressing the importance that no CPVPV agents take any action to pursue suspects or offenders, due to the inherent negative consequences that such action would have on the general public and public property. He affirmed that such pursuits could lead to those being chased – not to mention innocent civilians – being injured.

This memo stressed the importance of CPVPV agents obtaining all the required personal information about a suspect, and then transferring the case to security authorities, ensuring that the CPVPV does not overstep the bounds of its authority and interfere in the jurisdiction of other government agencies. The memo also asserted that the CPVPV presidency would take firm action against any of its members who violate this directive.

CPVPV President Sheikh Abdullatif Al Al-Sheikh also confirmed that he is working hard to promote and develop the operations of the CPVPV, particularly as the agency’s field performance requires permanent review and a flexible and effective response to various issues. Al-Sheikh characterized this response as one of change and renewal.

Al-Sheikh had previously called on all CPVPV agents to work hard to achieve what pleases God Almighty, according to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and to be committed to preserving people’s rights, in accordance with the aspirations of the ruling authorities in Saudi Arabia. He also called on all CPVPV agents to work hard to achieve security, stability and happiness for the people of Saudi Arabia.