Culture And Media

Saudi Arabia: Religious police want cameras to monitor youth

Riyadh, 27 May (AKI) - Saudi Arabia's religious police want to install surveillance cameras in shopping centres throughout the country in order to watch young people. "We will place surveillance cameras in all shopping centres and public places to monitor the behaviour of young people," said General Abdel Aziz al-Hamin, chief of the committee for the promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice, quoted by Saudi daily Okaz on Wednesday.

"Our objective is to correct the mistakes made by some youths, in order to protect their moral integrity," said al-Hamin.

However, Saudi Arabia's religious police have been accused by many Saudis of violating young people's privacy by providing the media with the names of those who are caught engaging in behaviour considered in breach of Islamic Sharia law.

Their names are then published in Saudi newspapers.

Al-Hamin, however, has denied the claims and said he never handed over the names of anyone to the media.

In a separate incident, a court in the holy city of Medina on Tuesday acquitted two religious police.

They were accused of having caused the death of four young people, two men and two women, who died in a car accident while they tried to escape from the religious police after being caught together.

Sharia law prohibits unmarried and unrelated men and women to travel together in a car.

The religious police or committee for the promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice is a government bureaucracy in charge of enforcing Sharia law. It has more than 3,500 members, as well as volunteers.




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