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Saudi religious police could face 10 years for assault

Officers involved in alleged assault on British expat and his Saudi wife also face 20,000-riyal fine

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The members of the Saudi religious police, known formally as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, who allegedly assaulted a British expatriate and his Saudi wife in Riyadh in late August may face up to 10 years in prison and a 20,000-riyal ($5,330) fine, according to lawyer Muhammad al-Jathlani.

The British expat can bring legal action against his assailants, said Jathlani, adding that the Abuse of Power Crime Law states any government official who abuses his power or coerces a person will face up to 10 years in prison or a fine of SR20,000 if convicted.

In contrast, Yousif al-Jabar, a former judge, said the religious police officers have the right to file a lawsuit against the victim if they were subjected to any moral or verbal abuse.