The Society for Defending Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia extends its sympathy to the families of two young women in Riyadh who were gunned down by their brother in front of the Al-Mrab’a Women’s Shelter on Sunday, July 5, 2009.

The religious police, who are called the men of Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices, were deeply involved in this crime: they arrested the sisters, Reem and Nouf, and took them to the police station. The two young ladies were convicted of mingling with non-relative males. They were then put in Al-Murab’a Women’s Shelter. Reem was 21 years old, her sister Nouf was 19 years old.

This act by the religious police of arresting women for talking or being with non-relative males, even in public places, has a great impact on a family’s reputation and respect. The honor of the family is immediately ruined, which makes men attack women. The brother (20 years old) gets angry and goes wild. He shoots his sisters in the head and kills them instantly. The crime happens in the middle of the day outside the Riyadh Women's Shelter as their their father was about to take them home.

The hands of the religious police as well as the brother’s hands are stained with blood of these innocent young women. These women have not committed any crime to be killed in such a brutal way.

The Society for Defending Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia demands that the Saudi authorities look at this crime as a homicide, and at the brother as murderer. He should be convicted for his crime so that no other aggressive men act violently against women and kill them in such a cold-blooded act.

The Society for Defending Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia also demands that the men of the religious police who were involved in this crime be brought to justice, too.

Above all, arresting women for mingling with non-relative males should be stopped: it puts Saudi women in danger and often costs them their lives. This act has nothing to do with the religion of Islam or the Saudi tradition.

Society for Defending Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia

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