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Saudi Arabian Religious Police Accused of Entrapping Suspects Using Porn

The staff at Saudi Arabian newspaper Makkah has accused the government’s Committee for Protection of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPVR), also known as the Religious Police, of using pornographic material to lure suspects online.

The Saudi Arabian Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution in Asir province became involved when suspects told agents that “conversations they had online were not initiated by them but through strangers they met online on the other end.” They also said those strangers sent them “obscene images” after the strangers “insisted on meeting them in person.” The suspects claimed these strangers belonged to the infamous CPVPVR.

The suspects said the arrests and sting operations hurt them and their families. Cases have caused some wives to divorce their husbands.

Some suspects face up to 10 years in prison for their crimes, which were not specified in Makkah or Al-Arabiya.

Makkah points out that it is illegal for the Saudi government to lure the defendants “or mislead them into crimes in order to catch them red-handed.” The Bureau of Inspection warned the religious police to stop its practice and “strictly stick with criminal procedure regulations laid out by the law.”

“We address all the IT and ethical criminal activities in accordance to the law and regulations as laid out by standard criminal regulations,” stated CPVPVR spokesman Turki al-Shalil.

Shalil also said all the police follow the laws and do not use porn or obscene photographs. He also denied the police “ever used phishing and spyware software in monitoring suspected criminals.”

Al-Arabiya also reports that the religious police will fille a lawsuit against Makka and Marsad newspapers over their accusations.

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