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.


Thousands of participants register in the upcoming Quran and Athan competitions

Updated 43 min 31 sec ago
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Thousands of participants register in the upcoming Quran and Athan competitions

  • Total prizes for the competition are worth $3.2m
  • The final stage of the competition will end on October 25

DUBAI: More than 13,000 participants from 162 countries registered in the Quran Recitation and Adhan competitions, the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) said in a statement.
The GEA allocated $3.2 million in prizes for the largest Quran competition and the first Adhan competition, which aims to highlight the diversity of the Islamic world cultures through the different styles of recitation and Adhan, and improve the image of Islam and Muslims globally.
The competition hopes to encourage the Muslim youth to recite the Quran and experience performing the Adhan.
The registration opened on May 22 and will continue accepting applications until July 22. The applicants will be then shortlisted from July 22 until August 23 as the competition progresses in its second stage.
The on-stage live performances will begin on August 24 and last until September 24 and winners will be announced and awarded throughout the final stage, which will run from September 25 and conclude on October 25.