‘Spy cell’ in Saudi Arabia sought foreign financing

Saudi Arabia’s Presidency of the State Security arrested seven people for suspicious communication with foreign entities and actions against the state.

 (File Photo: AFP)
Updated 20 May 2018

‘Spy cell’ in Saudi Arabia sought foreign financing

RIYADH: Members of a “spy cell,” arrested by Saudi Arabia’s state security presidency two days ago, sought to “incite strife by communicating with foreign entities hostile to the Kingdom and to establish a false legal organization, according to information received by Asharq Al-Awsat from informed sources.
The sources said most of the cell’s suspects claim to have religious obligations and were using human rights as a pretext to violate the country’s systems. One of the arrested suspects had volunteered to defend people who tried to produce chaos and incite strife inside the Kingdom, according to the sources.
Another member of the cell had contacted a foreign entity “hostile to Saudi Arabia, to receive financial support in exchange for continuing to incite trouble.”
Dr. Ibrahim Al-Nahas, member of Shoura Committee Council on Foreign Affairs, told Asharq Al-Awsat on Saturday that the Kingdom is capable of overcoming many security challenges due to the vigilance of its security apparatus.
For his part, Dr. Yusuf Al-Rumaih, professor of criminology at Al-Qassim University told Asharq Al-Awsat that “Saudi Arabia is a state built on the foundations of justice and it enshrines the principal of equality for all before the law.”
Earlier, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted the security spokesman of the Presidency of State Security as saying that seven people have been arrested for suspicious communication with foreign entities and actions against the state.


It said authorities detected coordinated activities by a group of people, who carried out organized work to violate the religious and national principles of the Kingdom.
“They also had communications with foreign entities to support their activities and sought to recruit persons working in sensitive government posts as well as providing financial support to hostile elements abroad with the objective of undermining the Kingdom’s security and stability, its social peace and national cohesion,” the spokesperson added.

By: Asharq Alawsat - http://ow.ly/hMpy30k5M9n


Harassers face ‘naming and shaming’ after Saudi Shoura Council ruling

Updated 01 October 2020

Harassers face ‘naming and shaming’ after Saudi Shoura Council ruling

  • It will help eliminate harassment in workplaces and public places as well as in schools

JEDDAH: Violations of Saudi Arabia’s anti-sexual harassment laws could be punished by “naming and shaming” following a decision by the Kingdom’s Shoura Council to approve a defamation penalty.

The council voted in favor of the penalty during its session on Wednesday after previously rejecting the move in March this year.

Council member Latifah Al-Shaalan said the proposal to include the penalty was sent by the Saudi Cabinet.

Saudi lawyer Njood Al-Qassim said she agrees with the move, adding that it will help eliminate harassment in workplaces and public places as well as in schools.

“The penalty will be imposed according to a court ruling under the supervision of judges, and according to the gravity of the crime and its impact on society,” Al-Qassim told Arab News.

“This will be a deterrent against every harasser and molester,” she said.

Al-Qassim said that legal experts are required to explain the system and its penalties to the public.

“The Public Prosecution has clarified those that may be subject to punishment for harassment crimes, including the perpetrator, instigator and accessory to the crime, the one who agreed with the harasser, malicious report provider, and the person who filed a malicious prosecution lawsuit,” she added.

“The Public Prosecution also confirmed that attempted harassment requires half the penalty prescribed for the crime,” said Al-Qassim.

In May 2018, the Shoura Council and Cabinet approved a measure criminalizing sexual harassment under which offenders will be fined up to SR100,000 ($26,660) and jailed for a maximum of two years, depending on the severity of the crime. 

In the most severe cases, where the victims are children or disabled, for example, violators will face prison terms of up to five years and/or a maximum penalty of SR300,000.

Incidents that have been reported more than once will be subject to the maximum punishment. 

The law seeks to combat harassment crimes, particularly those targeting children under 18 and people with special needs.

Witnesses are also encouraged to report violations and their identities will remain confidential.

The law defines sexual harassment as words or actions that hint at sexuality toward one person from another, or that harms the body, honor or modesty of a person in any way. It takes into account harassment in public areas, workplaces, schools, care centers, orphanages, homes and on social media.

“The legislation aims at combating the crime of harassment, preventing it, applying punishment against perpetrators and protecting the victims in order to safeguard the individual’s privacy, dignity and personal freedom which are guaranteed by Islamic law and regulations,” a statement from the Shoura Council said.

Council member Eqbal Darandari, who supports the law, said on Twitter that the defamation penalty has proven its effectiveness in crimes in which a criminal exploits a person’s trust.

“The defamation of one person is a sufficient deterrent to the rest,” she said.

Social media activist Hanan Abdullah told Arab News the decision “is a great deterrent for every harasser since some fear for their personal and family’s reputation, and won’t be deterred except through fear of defamation.”

The move will protect women from “uneducated people who believe that whoever leaves her house deserves to be attacked and harassed,” she said.

“Anyone who is unhappy with this decision should look at their behavior.”