Haia can’t chase, arrest suspects

Updated 14 April 2016
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Haia can’t chase, arrest suspects

JEDDAH: The Cabinet has passed new regulations banning members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia) from questioning, asking for identification, pursuing, arresting and detaining any person suspected of a crime, with these duties falling to police and anti-narcotics officers.
The regulations were issued at the Cabinet meeting on Monday in Riyadh, according to a media report, quoting minutes from the gathering. The Cabinet obliges Haia members to report observations to security forces personnel.
The Cabinet reportedly said: “Haia has the responsibility of reporting, while on patrol, to official authorities (depending on the suspected activity) any suspected crimes witnessed. Subsequent actions including pursuit of suspect, capture, interrogation and detainment will be left to the relevant official authorities.”
Under the changes, Haia members must “encourage virtue and forbid vice by kindly and gently advising as carried out by Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and his rightful successors,” the Cabinet said.
However, they will continue to help enforce strict segregation of the sexes, an absolute prohibition of the sale and consumption of alcohol, a ban on women driving and other social restrictions.
The regulations now ensure that the Haia president is appointed as a minister, with the authority to appoint a sufficient number of staff members. The president is responsible for enforcing these new regulations and reports directly to the king’s office.
All Haia members are now obliged to clearly display their identification cards, showing their names, posts, jurisdictions and official working hours. They are also required to be of good character and should not have been jailed for any crime exceeding one year.
They should not have been convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude or dishonesty.
The regulations also state that an advisory committee of five members shall provide advice and recommendations to the Haia president on the work carried out, address any irregularities and abuses, and hold violators accountable.
The Cabinet has decided that every province should have its own branch. The president will be responsible for issuing orders to branch committees. Each branch committees will be responsible for working in various cities and towns depending on demand.


Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

Updated 23 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

  • The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting
  • Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE will participate in a conference next month in Bahrain aimed at encouraging investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as part of US President Donald Trump’s long–awaited Israel–Palestine peace plan. 

The Peace to Prosperity conference, to be hosted on June 25–26 in cooperation with the US, has already been rebuffed by Palestinian officials and business leaders, who want their political demands met by any proposed solution to the conflict.

The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting.

The Saudi minister of economy and planning, Mohammed bin Majid Al–Tuwaijri, will attend, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Abu Dhabi would also send a delegation.

The Palestinian Authority has boycotted American peace efforts since late 2017, when Trump decided to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized the latter as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of US policy.

The Trump administration has sought to enlist support from Arab governments.

But Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands, which include affirming East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, the right of return for refugees, and a freeze on Israeli settlement construction.