Friday 19 January 2018

Six things you can get flogged for in Saudi Arabia?

Pensioner Karl Andree faces being whipped 350 times for making homemade wine Photo: Facebook
Pensioner Karl Andree faces being whipped 350 times for making homemade wine Photo: Facebook

Kate Ferguson

Saudi Arabia is known for having a very strict moral code, and those who breach it can be sentenced to lashings. Here are some of the things you can be flogged for in the country.

1) Insulting Islam

Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced to 1,000 lashings for insulting Islam in May 2014. He co-founded the Liberal Saudi Network internet discussion group, which encouraged debate about religious and political issues.

Read more: Family's plea for 'frail' British grandfather facing 350 lashes in Saudi Arabia for making wine

2) Spending time with members of the opposite sex

Saudi Arabia prohibits mingling between members of the opposite sex unless they are immediate relatives. In 2009, Khamisa Mohammed Sawadi, 75, was sentenced to 40 lashes and four months in jail for having two unrelated men in her house. The two men, known only as Fahad and Hadyan, said they were bringing the elderly woman bread, but they were all found guilty.

3) Driving a car if you are a woman

While it is not against the law for women to drive in Saudi Arabia, conservative religious edicts have banned it and authorities do not issue women with licences. In September 2011, Shaima Ghassaniya was sentenced to 10 lashes after being found guilty of driving without the government's permission.

4) Talking openly about sex

Mazen Abdul-Jawad was jailed for five years and sentenced to 1,000 lashes for bragging about his sex life on television in October 2009. Talking about sex publicly is forbidden in the ultra-conservative country.

5) Adultery

A 19 year-old woman, known as the "Girl of Qatif'', was with a male friend in his car when she was driven off and gang-raped by a group of men. She was sentenced to prison and lashes for being alone with a man not related to her - a violation of the kingdom's strict segregation of the sexes. Authorities later claimed she admitted to having an extra-marital affair.

6) Homosexuality

A Saudi Arabian man, 24, was sentenced to three years in jail and 450 lashes after he was caught using Twitter to arrange dates with other men. He was found guilty of "promoting the vice and practice of homosexuality".

Press Association

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