Saudi lawyers: new ‘Naming and shaming’ powers will deter sexual predators

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Updated 14 January 2021

Saudi lawyers: new ‘Naming and shaming’ powers will deter sexual predators

Saudi lawyers: new ‘Naming and shaming’ powers will deter sexual predators
  • Legal experts say new amendment to law will reduce harassment and protect potential victims

MAKKAH: A new amendment to the Saudi anti-harassment law enabling the “naming and shaming” of convicted sexual predators will deter potential offenders and protect victims, lawyers told Arab News on Wednesday.
The change to the original 2018 law was approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday, adding the publication of an offender’s personal details to the previously applicable punishments of fines and imprisonment.
“A royal decree was issued to amend the anti-harassment law allowing the judge handling the case to include a sentence imposed on the harasser to name and shame him at his own financial expense, as a deterrent to him and others like him,” legal counsel Dr. Mohammed Mahmoud said.
“Public naming and shaming constitute a strong punishment that deters anyone who may be tempted to engage in sexual harassment, the essence of which is the objection of the other party,” said Mahmoud. “It may also imply exploitation and humiliation.”
Lawyer Hisham Al-Faraj said naming and shaming would not be automatic, but would be implemented only in the most serious cases that affected society.
“Naming and shaming will be applied only after the sentence is final,” he said. “This is an additional guarantee not to name and shame any person before the crime is proved definitively and finally against him.”
The amendment to the law would ensure that harassers were not employed in sensitive jobs and professions that were inappropriate for such offenders he said.