Passersby on the Corniche in Dammam were stunned to witness members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (the Hai’a) drag a young woman out of a public toilet, and hit her and kick her before forcing her into the back of a jeep Sunday morning.I have no idea what that was about either. Although one letter writer to the Saudi Gazette suggested that perhaps she was really a man....
The incident, reported by Al-Hayat newspaper Monday and by chance witnessed by one of its correspondents along with nearly a dozen other people, reportedly occurred in a matter of seconds.
“A group from the Hai’a went into the women’s public toilets on the Corniche and came out dragging a screaming woman toward the parking area,” Al-Hayat reported.
The woman, with “parts of her body exposed after being dragged from the toilets”, was reportedly in a “state of hysteria” pleading with the Hai’a to let her go, and then she fainted.
According to Al-Hayat, once the woman had been dragged several meters from where she fell on the road, the Hai’a then started beating her and kicking until she came to the jeep. As she tried to wriggle her way free and refused to get into the jeep, the Hai’a grabbed her by the arms and legs and “threw her on the back seat.”
The newspaper said it was in possession of the number of the vehicle.
Stunned onlookers wondered what offense the woman could have been accused of, and repeated attempts by Al-Hayat to contact two regional Hai’a heads and a spokesman were met with switched off mobile telephones and, in the case of the Hai’a chief in the Eastern Province, unanswered calls.
Text messages to all three also went unanswered.
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