Video posted online Monday appears to show members of Saudi Arabia’s religious police beat a British businessman after he paid at a women-only cash register.
Men are strictly prohibited from paying at certain cash registers which are designated for females only.
Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice saw Peter Howarth-Lees, who is married to a Saudi woman, pay at the women-only register and followed him outside the supermarket, the Telegraph reported.
The religious authorities started filming him and Howarth-Lees responded by doing the same, the Agence France-Presse reported. Heated words were exchanged before the man was beaten to the ground.
“While I was on the ground all three of them proceeded to kick me repeatedly in the head and back and then one of them stamped hard on my face,” he told a local news outlet. “On seeing this, my wife got out of the car and somehow managed to push them off me and I managed to stand up.”
His wife was then kicked in the stomach.
“That’s my wife, how dare you!” Howarth-Lees can be heard shouting in the short video posted online.
The businessman said the entire incident was a misunderstanding. According to the Telegraph, he said he was directed to the women-only cash register by an employee.
Howarth-Lees said he was later contacted by the head of the religious police who told him he has ordered an investigation.
“We don’t have to fight the case because they have already admitted their people are at fault,” he said. “It will be left up to us as to how we play it.”
Nevertheless, the business man said he is “proud to live” in Saudi Arabia, adding that “there are rogue elements in police forces everywhere, including the United States and Britain too.”
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