A young man dies in Saudi Arabia following a chase by the religious police because he had long hair

 Nabil Hassan Homaid

By Iqbal Tamimi

Another violation of human rights by the religious police in Saudi Arabia has been reported yesterday.

The extending powers of the religious police practiced against Saudi citizens and expatriates are baffling. According to Arabic and Islamic literature, the prophet Mohammad had long hair, which makes him a candidate victim of the Saudi religious police, if he happens to be living in Saudi Arabia at present time.

A member of the religious police in Saudi Arabia, known as ‘the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice’, accompanied by a member of the security police in Asir region, chased a young man of a Jordanian nationality because they disapproved of his looks, since he had long hair. The chase ended with the death of the young man Tuesday morning, suffering brain bleeding and head injuries.

Nabil Hassan Homaid (28 years) was transferred to hospital last Wednesday following the chase by a member of the security and the religious police in the province of Ahad Rafidah, amidst conflicting information about the cause of his serious injuries

Alwatan newspaper claimed Wednesday that the father of the deceased  has said  that his son was cuffed and forced to shave his hair after he was arrested, and has been severely beaten inside the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice headquarter, leaving him unconscious. He was later carried out while unconscious by a friend and a cleaner who works at the centre, and transferred to hospital.

The governor of the city, Saeed bin Majery confirmed the incident of chase has happened, and that the young man has lost conscious at the headquarters of the Commission, he also claims that the young man has fallen during the chase from a height of almost four meters high while trying to flee. The Governor added “It is a well known medical fact that when a person runs strongly he might be exposed to a stroke as a result of fear and panic”

It is quite obvious that the way the religious police execute their duties goes by individual judgement, likes and dislikes. It is unclear why the state of Saudi Arabia that is striving hard to improve its image and record of human rights, can’t do anything about reforming the duties of the religious police.

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