Saudi lawyers refuse to leak data to women on potential grooms
Saudi Justice Ministry will reportedly enable women to look at the health, judicial and security records of the suitors
A number of Saudi lawyers have refused to participate in a project reportedly being prepared by the Justice Ministry to enable women to look at the health, judicial and security records of potential suitors.
The lawyers, reported al-Hayat newspaper on Monday, considered such a scheme to be not only against Shariah but also a gross violation of human rights.
Turki al-Rasheed, a lawyer, said looking at the people's records and spying on them for no good reason was totally against Shariah. He said: “The past lives of people should be protected.
“They might have committed mistakes during the early years of their life but this should not be revealed to others.”
Al-Rasheed said it is totally against Islam to reveal the secrets of other people. He recalled a number of the prophetic teachings (ahadith) that warn against spying on others.
Bandar al-Bishr, another lawyer, said the ministry has no right to come out with such a scheme.
He said: “The ministry has no right to leak data on citizens. “Marriage should be kept within its social framework and any attempt to reveal the past life of marriage seekers is against Islam.”
Bishr asked the government to protect the privacy of its citizens and said personal data should not be revealed to anyone.
Bandar al-Niqaithan, another lawyer, doubted the Justice Ministry would adopt such a project.
He said: “There is no such thing as a health, judicial and security record. “All we have is what is known as the criminal record, which the ministry has nothing to do with.”
Niqaithan said if the project existed, it would be a gross violation of Article 12 of the Human Rights Declaration that protects the private lives of people and their families, in addition to their honor, accommodation, correspondence, reputation and others.
Local media recently claimed the Justice Ministry was preparing a special record to enable women to review the health, judicial and security records of potential suitors. The reports have sparked a debate on social media.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on March 4, 2014.