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Sunday, 25 October 2009

Saudi woman scribe sentenced to 60 lashes

A Saudi woman journalist has been sentenced to 60 lashes for her involvement in a TV programme in which a man spoke about his indulgence in pre-marital sex, according to a lawyer. The scribe, identified as just RA by the local media, was associated with the LBC programme Bold Red Line aired in mid-July.

She was accused of being an accomplice to one Abdul Jawad, who during the programme spoke about his indulgence pre-marital sex and provided explicit descriptions. His statements were viewed as an act of publicising and promoting sinful behaviour and violating Saudi social norms on the issues of dating and pre-marital sex.

Suleiman Al-Jumaie, the lawyer representing Jawad, the prime offender in the case, told Arab News that the the woman journalist, the seventh accused in the case, accepted the verdict issued by Judge Muhammad Amin Mirdad of the Jeddah Summary Court.

"Her acceptance deprives her of the right to appeal," Al-Jumaie said. He said that it is unprecedented in the country that a journalist is convicted by a court for doing something related to her job as a media person.

"Some people seek to bring the whole media and media persons to ordinary courts. In my view, the issue is not the crimes committed by Abdul Jawad but the prosecution of the entire media," Al-Jumaie said.

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