As Muslims in the kingdom start fasting from dawn to dusk from tomorrow, Saudi Arabia has banned its residents from eating, drinking and smoking in public during the fasting hours during the holy month.
Those who are not thoughtful of the fasting Muslims will face legal action. Expatriates in particular have been warned that they will be deported if caught having food and drink in public, Gulf News reported.
The warning from the Interior Ministry stated that the punishment could be a prison term or lashes or both, while foreigners could also be deported from the kingdom.
The ministry has asked the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Hai’a) to be vigilant to ensure full compliance with the directives, according to sources from the commission. “This decision applies to all people, regardless of whether they are Muslims or not, and are in line with the regulations of Saudi Arabia that strictly ban public violations of Ramadan ethics and encourage genuine considerations for the feelings of Muslims during this auspicious month,” the sources said.
Eateries throughout the kingdom will remain closed during the day.