Blood on their hands: Saudi religious police start fatal car chase
The Muttawa chat with an ordinary Saudi policeman. Picture courtesy of Layla, Images of Saudi.
Members of the Muttawa have been accused of causing a fatal car accident in Bajurashi, South West Saudi. The driver of the car was killed and his pregnant wife and children all sustained injuries.
Two officers from the Saudi religious police allegedly chased down a family car, causing the driver to crash into an overpass in July this year. Many Saudis are now asking just how much influence the religious police should be allowed to have.
The Muttawa are more usually found walking around shopping malls or on the street checking up on excess flesh or inappropriate behavior. But in this instance they allegedly followed the driver, Abdulrahman al Ghamdi, down the road for several kilometers. Mr. al Ghamdi drove off and a chase ensued.
The officers involved have been detained and are being questioned but defenders of the Muttawa have said Mr. al Ghamdi drove through a police checkpoint and the officers were within their rights to follow him.
The chase ended with the 34-year-old losing control of the car as it careered into an overpass that was still under construction. Although the crash happened in July, Mr. al Ghamdi’s wife and children are still hospitalized.
The Emir of the Baha region is apparently horrified at how the Muttawa behaved and questions are being raised as to how much power these non-governmental forces should have. The family has asked for an investigation into their actions, headed up by the Emir.
For Saudis, incidents like this underline their frustration with the Muttawa’s interference into their lives.
What do you think about the Muttawa? Is it their responsibility to police Saudi citizens? Tell us what you think below.
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