Human Rights Voices

While the UN devotes its human rights operations to the demonization of the democratic state of Israel above all others and condemns the United States more often than the vast majority of non-democracies around the world, the voices of real victims around the world must be heard.

Saudi Arabia, December 30, 2013

Saudi Arabia Bans New Year Celebrations

New Year's Eve means party time all around the world – but not in Saudi Arabia, where celebrating Hogmanay has been officially banned by religious police.

Public warnings have been issued by the country's feared secret police agency, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV), ahead of December 31st.

The commission is responsible for enforcing strict Islamic law on the Kingdom's 30 million inhabitants, which it does on behalf on the ruling House of Saud.

Any merchandise to do with celebrating New Year such as t-shirts, has also been outlawed. Saudi Arabia uses a different calendar from its Gulf State neighbours. According to the Saudi-preferred Muslim lunar calendar, New Year takes place in later October.

Saudi Arabia's ban on partying provides a stark contrast with events planned in neighboring Dubai, where the government has announced a world record-breaking fireworks display, featuring $400,000 worth of explosions.

Saudi Arabia also imposes bans on men and women mingling together in public, as well as a ban on women drivers. Other universal celebrations eschewed by the place includes Valentine's Day.