Saudi Arabia: Religious police role in school fire criticised
Source:Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch call upon the Saudi authorities to conduct an independent, thorough and transparent investigation of the fire on 11 March at a girls' public intermediate school that claimed the lives of at least fourteen students.
The tragedy has focused attention on the role of the religious police as well as the state agency responsible for the education of girls and women in the kingdom. Eyewitnesses, including civil defense officers, reported that several members of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (mutawwa'in, in Arabic) interfered with rescue efforts because the fleeing students were not wearing the obligatory public attire (long black cloaks and head coverings) for Saudi girls and women.
Submitted on Mon, 03/18/2002 - 01:00