- The men were arrested by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice
- All five have admitted to the charges. of unlawful confinement with unrelated women, dancing and drinking
- A judge will decide the fate of the six women caught with the men
Five Saudi men have been sentenced to 32 years in prison and 4,500 lashes by a Saudi criminal court for celebrating a Valentine’s Day party.
The men who broke the law were captured in a rented nursing home in the Al-Farouq area of Buraidah Qassim Province and accused of having a party with women other than them, drinking and dancing.
Police Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) gathered the men with the help of security patrols for his crimes with six women on February 14.
Banned: Saudi men were banned from using camera phones for a time for fear they would be used to secretly photograph women and post them on the Internet without the subjects’ consent.
All of the men have admitted to the charges, which include unlawful confinement with unrelated women, dancing and drinking.
A judge will decide the fate of the six women.
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is the Saudi Arabian government’s religious police or mutaween (meaning pious) for enforcing Sharia law within the Islamic nation.
In total, it has between 3,500 and 4,000 police officers who enforce a strict religious code among citizens.
Members patrol the streets checking the dress code, the strict separation of men and women, the salat of Muslims during prayer times, and other behaviors they believe are commanded by Islam.
He mutates between (CPVPV) are known for having full beards and wearing loose headscarves (ghutrah or shemagh) without agal and often come from the lower classes of Saudi Arabia.
The agency has broad powers to arrest and reprimand offenders and close businesses and are employed directly by the King. The organization’s budget for 2013 was the equivalent of $390 million.
In a separate case, Raif BadawiA Saudi blogger recently fell out of favor with the authorities and faces ten years in prison, a thousand lashes and a fine of one million rials for “insulting Islam.”
Badawi’ was arrested in June 2012 and charged with cybercrime and disobeying his father – a crime in Saudi Arabia – in relation to his Saudi Liberal Network website.
The site included articles critical of prominent religious figures such as the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, according to Human Rights Watch.
He had originally faced seven years in prison and 600 lashes, but an appeals court overturned that sentence and ordered a new trial.
Amnesty International called the new sentence “scandalous” and said Badawi is a “prisoner of conscience.” His website has been closed since his first trial.
King Abdullah: The king uses a religious police to enforce behavior that goes against the strict Islamic regime and this has even affected bloggers like Raif Badawi, on the right, who faces ten years in prison for insulting Islam.
Citizens of Saudi Arabia are constantly encouraged to report other people who break the law.
Punishment for many crimes is severe and often includes beatings and humiliation, and foreigners are not excluded from arrest.
THE STRICT SHARIA LAW THAT SHOULD NOT BE VIOLATED IN SAUDI ARABIA
- tThey prevent the population from getting involved in ‘frivolous’ Western customs like Valentine’s Day
- They assure that drugs, including alcohol, are not sold
- They control that women wear the abaya, a traditional black enveloping cloak
- They make sure that men and women who are seen together in public are related
- They ensure that women do not smoke in public
- A ban on camera phones was enacted in 2004, but it was repealed that same year.
Middle East ally: David Cameron receives an honor from King Abdullah. Human Rights Watch says Saudi Arabia, a strong ally of the West in the Middle East, has a long history of repressing free expression.
Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa program director, urged Saudi authorities to overturn blogger Badawi’s conviction.
“The decision to sentence Raif Badawi to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes is outrageous,” he said.
Human Rights Watch said Saudi Arabia, a strong ally of the West in the Middle East, has a long history of repressing free expression.