Saudi Arabia to criminalize sexual harassment within days

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Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki and other officials field questions during a press conference on Thursday on the newly approved law against sexual harassment. (SPA)
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Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki and other officials field questions during a press conference on Thursday on the newly approved law against sexual harassment. (SPA)
Updated 01 June 2018

Saudi Arabia to criminalize sexual harassment within days

  • The Council of Ministers approved the anti-sexual harassment measure during its meeting, chaired by King Salman, in Jeddah last Tuesday.
  • The law seeks to combat harassment crimes, paying particular attention to protecting children under the age of 18 and people with special needs.

RIYADH: The anti-harassment law in Saudi Arabia will be implemented within days and offenders can be jailed for up to two years, said Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki on Thursday. 

The law was approved by the Council of Ministers last Tuesday and published in the Official Gazette.

Sexual harassment is considered a crime in the Kingdom according to the provisions of Islamic law, said Maj Gen Al-Turki.

The law seeks to combat harassment crimes, paying particular attention to protecting children under the age of 18 and people with special needs.

Maj Gen Al-Turki said that any person who has been harassed or has witnessed the crime should inform authorities.

The law will take into account acts of harassment in public areas, work places, schools, care centers, orphanages, homes and on social media. 

Sexual harassment is defined as words or actions that hint at sexuality, coming from one person to another that involves the body, honor or modesty of a person in any way.

It also includes modern technical means such as social media and emojis.

The offender can be fined up to SR100,000 and jailed for a maximum of two years, depending on the severity of the crime. 

Authorities have promised confidentiality for those who report such cases.

“We know that there are a lot of people who are hesitant to report harassments because of the consequences of privacy. The system provides confidentiality to protect the harassed,” said Maj. Gen. Al-Turki.

The the use of emojis to harass someone on text messages and social media will be included.

“The law is clear, anything that is sexually related or within sexual context will be taken into consideration. Everyone understands what sexual harassment is. We’re all Muslims, and have been raised with Islamic values,” he said.


Saudi Arabia, Russia sign agreements during Vladimir Putin visit to Riyadh

Updated 14 October 2019

Saudi Arabia, Russia sign agreements during Vladimir Putin visit to Riyadh

  • King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcome Russian leader at Al-Yamamah Palace
  • 20 deals of cooperation were signed between the two countries

DUBAI: Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Riyadh on Monday on his first visit since 2007, and was welcomed to Al-Yamamah Palace by Saudi King Salman as well as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar earlier personally welcomed the Russian leader as he disembarked from his aircraft at King Khalid International Airport.

An official welcoming ceremony was held in honor of Putin and various agreements were signed between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Russia including an oil cooperation pact.

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READ MORE: Dedicated Arab News ‘Putin in Saudi Arabia’ spotlight

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Some 20 agreements were signed between the two countries, in a ceremony overseen by the king, crown prince, Putin and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF and Saudi Arabia's SALIC signed an agreement to team up in searching for investment projects in the Russian agricultural sector, RDIF said in a statement on Monday.

A string of multi-million-dollar investment contracts were also signed in the aerospace, culture, health and advanced technology sectors.

Putin’s “long-awaited” visit will include discussions on “further cooperation to stabilize prices on the world carbohydrate market” as well as the situation in Syria, the Gulf and Yemen.

The Russian leader, in an interview with Arab broadcasters and aired on Sunday ahead of his arrival, described the “very good relations” with the Saudi leadership.

“We consider Saudi Arabia a friendly nation. I have very good relations with both the King and the Crown Prince,” Putin said, and noted the improved bilateral relations between both countries.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Vladimir Putin visits Saudi Arabia

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Putin in the interview likewise condemned the Sept. 14 attacks on Aramco facilities, and said “such actions do not bring any positive results to anybody, including perpetrators,” as they do not have a strong effect on the market.

“We condemn any such actions, end of story. This is the official position … regardless of who stood behind the incident,” the Russian president commented.

A forum attended by Saudi Arabian and Russian business leaders and government officials earlier Monday resulted in the signing of several agreements between companies of both countries.

(Developing)