REYADH: Saudi Arabia’s religious police have shut down more than 10,000 Twitter accounts so far this year. The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice spokesman Turki Al Shulail said the account users had violated religious standards.
“Their users were committing religious and ethical violations. Haia blocked and arrested some of their owners. However, it was hard to follow all the accounts due to the advanced security used in this kind of social media,” he was quoted as saying.
“The IT crime department at Haia played a major role to close these accounts. Our unit is divided into two sections: The first receives reports and complaints from citizens and residents and the second one monitors and does follow-up operations through websites and software applications.”
The account users face jail terms of up to five years and fines of up to SR3 million ($800,000).
Numerous people in the conservative Islamic kingdom already have been jailed for comments on social media.