Haia Abdul Latif AlshaikhThe General President of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, Sheikh Dr Abdullatif Aal Al-Sheikh released a statement ordering members to refrain from invading the privacy of the public by examining their cell phones and other belongings.

The statement that was sent to all branches of Hai’a in the kingdom was issued in response to several complaints received from citizens about the invasion of their privacy by some Hai’a member. Some of the members confiscate personal belongings such as cellphones from people who are seen in shopping malls and markets or who are seen not offering their prayers. The members then go on to examine the belongings for no apparent reason.

In his statement, Al-Sheikh pointed out that the Commission members are not allowed to inspect cellphones unless the person in question has committed a crime, reported Sabq news. He further added that it was against Sharia law to invade privacy, because the Islamic law calls for maintaining privacy and prevents it from interfering with one’s privacy and freedom.