Saudi Saber Rattling – Part II

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post about the recent aggression on the part of the Muttawa.  Today’s post provides some information on what to do if you are a woman and confronted by a muttawa.



Some of this information has been extracted from a reputable newsgroup and other data I have added based on experience here:

A  company’s Government Relations Officer advised about  woman’s rights when it came to the detention by the mutawwa and the police. Especially after reading
that incident of the woman in Riyadh it is important women (and others) in the Kingdom know what to do and what is or is not allowable.

1. A mutawwa or police officer is not supposed to take a woman into custody by herself. It is the right of every woman, Saudi or not, to call her husband or guardian (mahram) to the scene and he will than go with them, as will she, to settle the matter


NEVER GO ALONE NEVER GO ALONE just so we are clear. Definitely don’t hop in the taxi with one.  It should also be noted that an official muttawa would not be using a taxi for transport either.  He would be accompanied with a police officer and they would be in an official vehicle.

2. If your man (husband, father, brother, uncle) is not around, giving identification where you can be found or your guardian (mahram) can be found (or anyone in charge) so they can follow up is fine.  They are NOT TO TAKE you.

If you do not have ID, you can use your drivers if he is under your sponsorship and have one.

If not you ask for a police escort, in which they FOLLOW your vehicle or taxi to your residence. You than give them your ID or copy of your ID and any business card you may have of your man (husband, father, brother, uncle). (or guardian/mahram).  They are not supposed to detain you, take you or apprehend you in any way unless you have a male guardian or anyone appointed that is male and on your side.

You can’t just walk away from them, you have to wait for a resolution. So if you are having a cup of coffee and they want to take you, remain seated call your man (husband, father, uncle, brother) and wait. Even if he has to fly in.. do not move.

Do not go to their vehicle, do not step outside, remain where you are, and get comfy. If it takes forever, surrender ID and contact information and that should be enough. If not, and he is not to with a police officer have them call one, two, even a captain or someone higher up the chain and resolve it.

There have been cases where women have been dumped in the desert, stranded on the street, and even harmed when they have went alone with these men. So don’t go, this is our legal right.

And of course never ever ever ever sign a confession you can’t read. Or any legal document for that matter.  You have a right to have it translated by proper professionals into your language. The Arabic one will stand in the court, but it is your right to know what you are signing or confessing to.




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