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 cabinet refuses politicization of Khashoggi murder in Istanbul

Updated 1 min 55 sec ago
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Saudi cabinet refuses politicization of Khashoggi murder in Istanbul

  • King Salman chaired a weekly Cabinet session in Tabuk on Tuesday

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia's Cabinet has rejected the politicization of the murder of Saudi citizen and journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month.

The announcement came following a weekly Cabinet session, chaired by King Salman in Tabuk on Tuesday.

In statements to the state-run Saudi Press Agency, Information Minister Dr. Awwad bin Saleh al-Awwad said the ministers expressed gratitude to friendly and fraternal nations and organizations for their welcoming of the General Prosecution's statement on the findings in Khashoggi's murder.

Al-Awwad hailed them for refusing to politicize this humanitarian affair that has been referred to the Saudi judiciary and which will issue verdicts against the suspects.

In a speech addressing the Kingdom’s council of ministers, King Salman briefed them on the details of a written message that he delivered earlier this week to Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah.

King Salman also briefed them on the discussions he held on Sunday with visiting Iraqi President Barham Salih, following a meeting in Riyadh, where they discussed bilateral ties and ways of developing them in various fields.

The attending ministers hailed King Salman’s remarks on Saudi internal and foreign policy, as well as his pride in the comprehensive development witnessed in the Kingdom in line with its Vision 2030.

On Yemen, the Cabinet praised Saudi Arabia and the UAE for launching a $500 million initiative to address the humanitarian situation in the war-torn country.

They also announced that the Kingdom and the UAE will launch another initiative for food security that will reach 10-12 million Yemenis.

Al-Awwad pointed out that the Cabinet reiterated the Kingdom's affirmation during an emergency Arab League meeting at the level of Permanent Representatives in Cairo, condemning the Israeli violations in Gaza, based on its permanent stance towards the Palestinian cause. It reaffirmed its solidarity with the Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate historic rights.

Finally, the Saudi Information minister said that the Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding between Saudi Arabia and Turkey on cooperation in the housing sector.