JEDDAH — At a hearing on Sunday at the Administrative Court in Jeddah, a judge asked a Hai’a member to prove to him that his organization is permitted by law to use force and violence against individuals who resist arrest.
The Hai’a member was arraigned by the court following a complaint filed by a young man against him and his associate, who failed to appear before the judge, of the strong-arm tactics used. In the complaint, the young man accused them both of beating him.
The judge admonished the Hai’a member, “Your actions bring more harm to the Hai’a’s reputation than to yours. You should use wisdom and not violence when you deal with people. This is how Allah ordered us to advise each other.”
The judge instructed court officers to bring the other Hai’a member in.
The Hai’a officer charged that the young man was loitering about in his vehicle with his radio on full blast.
“He was trying to flirt with and harass women when the Hai’a patrol vehicle stopped him. He fled the scene only to return a few days later. This time we caught him and asked him to show us his ID. He was a university student. An altercation took place and he started to resist us and we had to use force to make him get inside the Hai’a vehicle.”
At this point, the judge interrupted saying that his version contradicted what bystanders who had witnessed the event had testified. The Hai’a member said bystanders came to the scene only after the fight started, which was caused by the young man in the first place because he was resisting arrest.
The judge told the Hai’a member that he should not have forced the young man to get in the car.
Instead, he should have noted his license plate number and reported it to the police. “By forcing him into the car, things could’ve escalated and a simple fight could’ve developed into a more violent one and you end up making the young man commit something worse than driving around with stereo in full blast.”
The Hai’a member, who holds a master’s degree and has been working for the Hai’a for 13 years, argued that laws stipulate that force should be used to arrest a citizen if necessary.
At that point the judge challenged him, “If the Hai’a laws permit you to do this, you have to prove it to me and pinpoint to me these laws. Otherwise, when you face similar incidents, write down the license plate number and send it to pertinent authorities which have the power to act as per laws.”