Saudi Arabia to impose fines for breach of new public decency laws

Cabinet members last month approved the regulations which aim to uphold the values, principles and identity of Saudi society in public places. (AN photo by Essam Al Ghalib)
Updated 29 May 2019

Saudi Arabia to impose fines for breach of new public decency laws

  • The list of offenses has been designed to respect the values, customs, traditions and culture of Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: People breaking any of 10 new rules on public behavior in Saudi Arabia face being fined up to SR5,000 ($1,333). A list of offenses relating to breaches of public decency was supposed to come into force throughout the Kingdom on Saturday, but was put on hold.

Cabinet members last month approved the regulations which aim to uphold the values, principles and identity of Saudi society in public places such as parks, beaches, malls, hotels and restaurants.

Shoura Council member Dr. Muadi Al-Madhhab told MBC channel: “The Kingdom isn’t the only country to implement such regulations. Many countries already have them, and the regulations apply to citizens and expatriates.”

With rising tourism, he said that the 10 provisions would help individuals to be aware of how they should behave in the presence of visitors to the country.

The list has been designed to respect the values, customs, traditions and culture of Saudi Arabia, and the country’s interior minister will work with the chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and other relevant authorities to administer and enforce the rules and where necessary serve penalties.

BACKGROUND

The list of offenses has been designed to respect the values, customs, traditions and culture of Saudi Arabia.

Each of the 10 regulations will carry a corresponding fine that will be issued by the minister. Under the rules, individuals will be expected to adhere to respectful dress codes and avoid taking photos or using phrases that might offend public decency.

The list covers graffiti and demolition of public property or transport unless authorized by Saudi authorities. Verbal and physical acts of violence or conduct that causes damage, fear or is deemed to be a threat to public safety will also form part of the crackdown.

Legal consultant Dimah Al-Sharif told Arab News: “I believe that the sanctions will play a major role in forcing the community to respect and commit to the regulations.”

She said the Ministry of Interior and SCTH could link the list of decency offenses to the Absher app in the same way as traffic crimes. “This would ensure that individuals treat the issue of public decency seriously and responsibly.” Anyone breaking one of the bylaws for a second time within the same year will face having their fine doubled.


More than half-a-million people benefit from Tetamman clinics, Takkad centers in Saudi Arabia

Police officials continue to implement precautionary and preventive measures to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. (SPA)
Updated 30 min 41 sec ago

More than half-a-million people benefit from Tetamman clinics, Takkad centers in Saudi Arabia

  • Epidemiological analysis over the past two weeks showed that critical cases fluctuated between 2,000 to 2,500

JEDDAH: Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly revealed on Sunday that more than 500,000 people have visited Tetamman clinics and Takkad (make sure) centers to test for COVID-19.
Takkad centers are designated for those who do not have symptoms, or who have mild symptoms, and believe that they might have came into contact with a person infected with COVID-19.
The clinics are also dedicated to helping individuals with COVID-19 symptoms such as sore throat, fever, shortness of breath and coughing.
“These are proactive measures to detect the infection and treat it at the earliest,” the spokesman said.
“The individual will isolate themselves for the needed period to protect themselves and protect those around them.”
Patients can visit the centers without appointments if they suspect they have an infection.
About 235 clinics are distributed in various cities across the Kingdom, where they have provided services to 208,000 beneficiaries so far, according to the MOH.
The centers provide a COVID-19 testing service after booking appointments via the Sehaty app. So far, the beneficiaries of Takkad centers have totaled 357,000.
The spokesman said at Sunday’s press conference that epidemiological analysis over the past two weeks showed that critical cases fluctuated between 2,000 to 2,500.  
“The number of critical cases increased to almost 1 percent, from last week until now. Two-thirds of admitted patient cases are chronic illnesses other than COVID-19, half of the number of admitted patients are elderly and most critical cases are reaching the final stages of recovery and are responding to treatment,” Al-Aly said.
The Kingdom recorded a total of 3,580 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, meaning 209,509 people in Saudi Arabia have now contracted the disease. There were 62,357 active cases, 2,283 of them critical.
Al-Aly announced 1,980 new recovered cases, taking the total number of recoveries to 145,236 while 58 new deaths had been reported, raising the death toll to 1,916.