Saudi Arabia have stripped their religious police of the power to arrest. They are a controversial force that enforces the puritanical Wahhabist laws of Islam. They have been urged to act “kindly and gently”.
The Mutaween as they are known , must “carry out the duties of encouraging virtue and forbidding vice by advising kindly and gently” the Saudi Press Agency reported.
“Neither the heads nor members of the Haia are to stop or arrest or chase people or ask for their IDs or follow them – that is considered the jurisdiction of the police or the drug unit,” the regulations say.
The Mutaween have consistently been criticized for its extremism and would often publicly beat up women.