Saudi Arabia suspends two judges for prohibiting shisha tobacco, shaving

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The Supreme Judicial Council of Saudi Arabia suspended two judges for issuing controversial rulings, prohibiting mu’assel (shisha tobacco) and shaving, online Saudi Arabian news outlet Sabq reported on Monday.

According to Sabq, the two judges are currently under investigation and appropriate penalties will be given.

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The judges cited Islam in their rulings, saying it was prohibited for men to shave their beards and smoking shisha tobacco was forbidden.

Sabq added that judicial work is an institutional act that leaves no room for the individual’s opinion regarding the direction of the institutional system, which is based on the country’s legislation, principles and decisions, and it rejects rulings by individuals, such as prohibiting tobacco and shaving.

“The two cases are currently being reviewed, because the commercial activity in the two deliberated cases is legally authorized, and the role of the judiciary is to enforce regulations,” the newspaper said.

Earlier in July, Saudi Arabia issued preliminary rulings for five financial and administrative corruption cases in the Kingdom, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

A general court judge charged with bribery was sentenced to four years in prison and a fine of 130,000 riyals ($34,660), according to SPA. A mediator involved in the same case was sentenced to five months in prison and a fine of 20,000 riyals ($5,333).

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