It has been a while since I have written about those evil buffoons here in Saudi Arabia, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (or as I prefer to think of them, the Ministry of Licentiousness and Lasciviousness – the C-Men). However, they have been in the news here again.
I mentioned the killing of Salman Al-Huraisi by the C-Men in Thomo’s Hole before, and then mentioned the trial of the apparently guilty members (well, they pleaded guilty then recanted that plea under oath in court). You can read those posts here and here.
The Arab News reported on 2 April that a retrial into the death of Al-Huraisi will begin next Tuesday in the Riyadh General Court. You may remember that the C-Men burst commando style into Al-Huraisi’s home as he was apparently a bootlegger and maybe drug pusher. He was beaten to death by two C-Men later at their headquarters.
The Arab News noted in relation to the opening of this case that,
On Nov. 28 last year, the General Court acquitted the two commission members on charges of killing Al-Huraisi, who worked as a security guard, after taking him into custody in a raid on his home in May. The Cassation Court rejected the ruling after identifying several errors, including the judges’ failure to hear eyewitness testimonies.
“As many as seven members of the commission will testify in the new trial, which will begin next week,” said Yahya Al-Huraisi, one of the two lawyers representing the dead man’s family.
Al-Huraisi said the three judges in the original trial relied only on written testimonies taken by the General Investigation and Prosecution Board.
As far as questioning Al-Huraisi went, the autopsy report said that “Al-Huraisi died after suffering a severe blow to his head causing a 6 cm deep fracture to his skull”.
This particularly brutal beating resulted in new rules being issued by the Interior Ministry to prevent the religious police from taking suspects to commission centers. The new regulations require that the C-Men hand detainees into police custody. Incidentally, the C-Men are not supposed to engage in car chases either – but more on that in another post later.