news Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute| September 1, 2014| 11.50 pm IST

A British businessman living in Saudi Arabia was beaten up by religious police for using a women’s only cash payment line at a supermarket.

A video posted on YouTube shows Peter Howarth-Lees, who is married to a Saudi woman, being manhandled by the religious police.

Lees in a statement to a Saudi website said,”We were at the checkout with the female cashier when the three men approached and aggressively objected to us using the family line and harassed us while we were almost finished paying for our shopping. I told them to stop harassing us and go away but they persisted. An argument ensued when the female cashier explained that we were a family. A scene developed at the checkout with two female cashiers arguing with them and me holding my ground.”

Lees then goes on to explain how members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, known as the Mutawa attacked him and his wife. “At the car park, suddenly and very violently, the three of them attacked me and threw me to the ground and tried unsuccessfully to take my phone. 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. On seeing this, my wife got out of the car and somehow managed to push them off me and I managed to stand up.My wife, at the same time, and in clear self defence, hit back at this man while mall security and members of the public tried to prevent him from further attacking us.At this point the man managed to kick my wife in the stomach before I got her to the other side of the car to get her inside.”

He is heard in the video shouting, “That's my wife, how dare you!" reports Telegraph UK. The report also says that the altercation seems to have been a result of confusion regarding rules at supermarket cashiers, where women have been allowed to work only recently.

Lees told the Telegraph that he did not blame the government and these were rogue elements in the police forces.

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