Saudi Religious Police Implicated In Car Crash Death

Saudi Arabia's religious police have been implicated in the death of a young man following a car crash in a case of overreach.

Saudi Arabia's religious police, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, also known as the Haia, have been known for going to extremes in enforcing Sharia'h law in the kingdom.  The red-bearded Haia make sure the sexes are separated in public, making sure they do not do anything too Western, and even ensure that prayers are being done properly in mosques.  Last decade, the Haia were implicated in the deaths of more than a dozen schoolgirls in a school fire in Mecca, locking the doors because they were not properly covered.  Despite the reforms, they have not changed much: Recently, the Haia were implicated in a car crash outside the Saudi capital of Riyadh, killing a young man.

The car crash occurred on Monday, during the National Day state holiday.  For reasons yet unknown, a Haia police car with two religious police officers was chasing another vehicle with two young brothers in a suburb of Riyadh.  At one point during the chase, the Haia got close enough to the vehicle to bump the tailgate of the small car.  Footage of this incident is believed to be shown in the video above.

Consequently, the car swerved and overturned as it fell off a bridge, killing the driver on impact.  The passenger of the vehicle launched into the back seat of the car, and fell unconscious.  The man remains in critical condition at this time in a local hospital.  Meanwhile, the two Haia police officers sped off when they realized what they had done.  The Haia police officers were eventually found by local regular police officers, and were arrested and held for questioning by both police and Haia authorities.

The National Day car crash comes during an uptick of deaths in the hands of the Haia.  Saudis took to social media to criticize the actions of the Haia, noting deaths in Medina and other parts of the Kingdom in recent weeks.  While Haia authorities claim that those responsible for the accident will be held accountable, many are suggesting that the organization itself be remade.  That would make some sense, especially given that the Haia frequently hires convicts whose only qualification is being able to recite the Quran.

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