That evil bunch, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (or as I prefer to think of them, the Ministry of Lasciviousness and Licentiousness – the C-Men) have been cleared of one of the recent murders that they have been involved in. The Arab News reports today in Commission Cleared in Huraisi Death that:
A Saudi man who is not an official member of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice is being held responsible for the death in custody of a Saudi man last month, the Governorate of Riyadh said in a statement yesterday.
This was the group that broke into a Saudi family home in Riyadh because they believed that the family was involved in alcohol and drugs. One man was beaten to death, allegedly by the C-Men. However, the Governate of Riyadh has noted that it was not an official C-Man who did the deed but rather someone not a member of the C-Men who was along for the ride.
Is this a case of Abdullah the C-Man telephoning his mate Ali and saying “hey Ali, we got this big raid coming up, wanna come along for the craic?”
“Concerning the causes of death and the violations that took place, investigations of 18 official commission members who were detained have revealed that they had nothing to do with the man’s death,” said the governorate statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.
Well, I’ll ask the obvious question here – if there were 18 C-Men there for the raid, how come they couldn’t overpower the non-“official member of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice”? They seem to have just let it all happen.
But wait folks, there is worse to come. The governate noted that:
“Investigations have shown that other persons who are not official members of the commission and who had no right to participate in such actions are responsible,” the statement continued. “The responsibility for the man’s death rests with one of these persons and he will be transferred to a court to be tried according to our law.”
Again, it is one thing to transfer the guilty to a court for trial and judgement (and I laud this), but the underlying question of “what were ‘other persons … who had no right to participate in such actions’ doing there in the first place?” needs to be asked and hopefully answered.
Some of the other problems of the C-Men have been mentioned on this blog before [Virtue Commission Member Calls for Fairness From People] so it is not the first time. The best thing though, is that there are these calls for a fair-go for the C-Men. Now in any other country, any Police Force that screwed up as badly as F-Troop attempting to counter-march would reamed from the top down – starting with the boss and working down the layers, getting rid of the inefficient or those with no ability, retraining (or in the case of the C-Men, training), generally overhauling the whole organisation from top to bottom.
Seems the Sheikh in charge of the C-Men ((Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Ghaith)) has been caught out as well as he had previously denied publicly that any part-time commission workers were involved in raids. Part-time C-Men? How many countries have tried part-time policemen before and has it ever provided good law enforcement?
Al-Huraisi’s sister (Al-Huraisi is the deceased) has lodged a complaint with the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), Saudi Arabia’s NGO human rights body about treatment she and the family received, including the use of psychological pressure after their arrest (and form of torture, psychological or physical is illegal in Saudi Arabia). Saeed Al-Mastoor of the NSHR also said
that there were mistakes made during the arrests of female family members. “There should have been a female staff member present during the arrest. That is part of the law which specifies that no female member of a family is arrested or searched without a female staff member being present,” he said.
The only problem that I could see with this statement is that back on 21 June 2007 [Three C-Men on Trial for Custodial Death] the Shoura also discussed and voted on the proposition that the C-Men should become C-Persons by the addition of women. This was defeated. One of the members of the Shoura (Abdul Rahman Al-Dawood) noted that :
he opposes the idea because of the law requiring women of any age to be escorted by a legal guardian who is a relative by blood or marriage. “By hiring women in the virtue body, a mahram (male guardian) would be necessary as their work sometimes takes them to other far away areas,” he said.
So really, the C-Men are breaking Shariah law whenever they talk to or detain a woman … or is this a case of there being some female non-official members of the C-Men accompanying them from time to time – but no, it cannot be, they would need a mahram or they themselves would be breaking Shariah law.