Illegal pranksters face severe penalties in Saudi Arabia

Posting pranks on social media is a crime in Saudi Arabia. (Photo/Shutterstock)
Posting pranks on social media is a crime in Saudi Arabia. (Photo/Shutterstock)
Short Url
Updated 11 September 2022

Illegal pranksters face severe penalties in Saudi Arabia

Posting pranks on social media is a crime in Saudi Arabia. (Photo/Shutterstock)
  • Posting pranks on social media is a violation in the Kingdom, even if it is a prank that has consent, says Saudi lawyer

JEDDAH: Under the Saudi law of cybercrimes, pranksters can face a punishment of SR5 million (more than $1.3 million) and three years in prison, according to a law expert.

Dr. Majed Garoub told Arab News that posting pranks on social media is a crime in Saudi Arabia, and it is classified as a violation of the country’s Anti-Cyber Crime Law.

“The punishment for such crime ranges from SR500,000 to SR5 million or imprisonment from six months to three years. However, both penalties can be applied, depending on the nature of the violating content.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• Saudi law expert Dr. Majed Garoub said: ‘The punishment for such crime ranges from SR500,000 to SR5 million or imprisonment from six months to three years. However, both penalties can be applied, depending on the nature of the violating content.’

• Speaking about the difference from a legal perspective between the pranks that some people post on social media and what we see on television, Garoubs said that pranks on social media are different from those on TV as the latter present comedy shows.

• Hasan Faleh Al-Nahsi, a Saudi social media influencer, said that some social media users make pranks to collect as many followers as they can.

He added that posting pranks on social media is a violation even if it is a prank that has consent.

“A crime is a crime. We now have a law that criminalizes these activities and considers them as offensive. It is also considered a crime if someone reposts, likes or retweets a prank,” Garoub said.

Giving his personal opinion, the lawyer believes that anyone who reposts, likes or retweets a violating content should be penalized with the maximum punishment. However, he said that legal punishment takes the circumstances of every violation into consideration.

Garoub justified his point of view by saying that the first violator might have committed the content under the influence of certain emotional factors or be unaware of its negative effect, but the one who retweets or reposts it should have watched the content, reaffirming his belief in the content.

As for juvenile violators, Garoub said that young people are treated differently.

“The authorities require them to appear for investigation through a certain mechanism that takes into consideration their age and the presence of their guardians. There are special courts, youth detention centers for the offenders who are still underage,” he said.

He added that investigators and judges also consider the age of the violator and apply the punishments and imprisonment decisions to match their age and their illegal acts.

Speaking about the difference from a legal perspective between the pranks that some people post on social media and what we see on television, Garoubs said that pranks on social media are different from those on TV as the latter present comedy shows.

“Legally, the two are different. The TV shows are subject to the regulations of the General Commission for Audiovisual Media while the violations posted on social media platforms are subject to the Anti-Cyber Crime Law,” he said.

Hasan Faleh Al-Nahsi, a Saudi social media influencer, said that some social media users make pranks to collect as many followers as they can.

“Some of them also think that it is a means to please their followers, and that has become a phenomenon on social media. However, people should be aware that these activities are unlawful. Awareness campaigns should also be conducted to warn social media users against the negative impact of these illicit activities,” Al-Nahsi told Arab News.

According to Khaled Al-Zahrani, a specialist in psychology, social media platforms, including Twitter, TikTok and many others, have attracted various segments of society of both genders and different age groups for different reasons.

“Many young and adult social media users have found these social media applications a place to seek fame and even an income. For these reasons, these users sometimes tend to talk about controversial issues or tackle them in a funny way. Their goal is to gain followers and increase the view numbers of the materials they produce or publish,” Al-Zahrani said.

Al-Zahrani said that these people’s legal knowledge about cybercrimes is limited. They may also be unaware of the society’s cultural background, and this is perhaps because they are exposed to different sources of cultures and information and they think such things are accepted in Saudi society.

“These people are controlled by the rules of the social media platform they are using, which they will be penalized for in case they violate them,” he said.

In the case of others, Al-Zahrani said, some of those who produce prank content may be trying to market themselves as comedians. “However, the goal is money,” he said.

 


Sustainable development of Saudi island will boost economy

Darin and Tarout is among the most archaeologically significant islands in Eastern Province. (SPA)
Darin and Tarout is among the most archaeologically significant islands in Eastern Province. (SPA)
Updated 58 min 29 sec ago

Sustainable development of Saudi island will boost economy

Darin and Tarout is among the most archaeologically significant islands in Eastern Province. (SPA)
  • Dr. Saad Dahlawi: 'The Kingdom is witnessing unprecedented economic and developmental growth and following the standards of sustainable development'

RIYADH: Economists and environmentalists say sustainable investment is important for an island north of Dammam allocated billions of riyals for development.

Experts told Arab News that the SR2.64 billion ($703 million) granted to Darin and Tarout island by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last week has much potential to boost the Eastern Province’s economy.

Darin and Tarout is among the most archaeologically significant islands in the region, with evidence of 5,000 years of continuous human habitation and around a dozen heritage sites, including a fortress dating back hundreds of years.

Officials aim to improve the quality of life for its 120,000 people while preserving its cultural and historical heritage, revitalizing its natural beauty sites and enhancing its tourism economy.

As much as 48 percent of its 32 sq. km area will be dedicated to public parks, waterfronts, roads, and facilities. The island hopes to boost the number of tourists to 1.36 million by 2030 and generate thousands of jobs.

“This project represents the first strategic works and initiatives done by the Eastern Region Development Authority,” said Eastern Province Development Authority CEO Fahad Al-Mutlaq.

He said that work would start next year on a program to gradually improve social and economic conditions after comprehensive studies were completed.

Fadhel Al-Buainain, a member of the Shura Council, said that the island had historical importance.

“Developing Darin Castle and Darin Airport as heritage tourist destinations will enhance the cultural side,” he said. “The establishment of the largest forest on the banks of the Gulf will contribute to enhancing the environmental goals of the Kingdom.

“If eco-hotels are developed in natural areas, this will be an important base for eco-tourism, which will support the economy of the island.”

Al-Buainain, who is also a member of the Saudi Economists Association, said that the development plan would make an important economic contribution to the region.

“Providing small and medium investment and employment opportunities will have an important socio-economic impact,” he said, adding that the development would contribute to achieving the goals of Vision 2030.

Dr. Saad Dahlawi, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health at Imam Abd al-Rahman bin Faisal University, said he believed that the development announcement came at the perfect time.

“The Kingdom is witnessing unprecedented economic and developmental growth and following the standards of sustainable development,” he said.

Dahlawi added however that project leaders needed to assess impacts on the environment and especially on marine life to ensure that endangered species are not put at further risk.

“Such a study would provide decision-makers with a clear picture of how to implement the project sustainably,” he said.

Dahlawi said it was important to follow international environmental standards, as well as the standards and requirements of the National Center for Environmental Compliance, to avoid any damage to the environment.

Abdullah Al-Khuzam, a member of The National Handicraft Development Program, said the intention to turn Darin Airport into a heritage museum “means that a new prosperity period is being written on one of the oldest inhabited islands in the Arabian Gulf.”

He said that the museum and planned art festivals would help present “our ancient culture and civilization to the world.”

 

 


Jeddah hosts 2nd Global Conference for Giftedness and Creativity

Jeddah hosts 2nd Global Conference for Giftedness and Creativity
Updated 27 November 2022

Jeddah hosts 2nd Global Conference for Giftedness and Creativity

Jeddah hosts 2nd Global Conference for Giftedness and Creativity
  • Event aims to enhance Kingdom’s global leadership by nurturing youth

RIYADH: Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, on behalf of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, is set to attend the Global Conference for Giftedness and Creativity, in Jeddah, which runs from Dec. 10 to 14.

The conference, now in its second edition, is organized by the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity, and will be held under the theme “Journey Toward the New Future.”

Mawhiba Secretary-General Amal Al-Hazzaa said that the conference aims to enhance the Kingdom’s global leadership by supporting and nurturing talented youth.

It will bring together young creative minds from all over the world to form teams to work on forward-thinking solutions to the global challenges of sustainable development.

Many world experts are participating, along with representatives from leading companies and universities, including SABIC, Aramco, NEOM, the King Abdullah University, and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.

The conference will feature an “idea-thon,” in which more than 100 participants from the world’s top 50 universities will use collective thinking principles to create innovative solutions to challenges.

Keynote speakers include Saudi Minister of Education Yousef Al-Benyan,  Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy & Social Innovation at University College London Sir Geoff Mulgan, and NASA astronaut and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Lee Satcher.


Saudi Arabia launches Aquatic Animal Diseases Network in the Middle East

Saudi Arabia launches Aquatic Animal Diseases Network in the Middle East
Updated 27 November 2022

Saudi Arabia launches Aquatic Animal Diseases Network in the Middle East

Saudi Arabia launches Aquatic Animal Diseases Network in the Middle East
  • Aim is to ensure sustainable growth of aquatic, marine species in food production
  • Members include countries bordering Red Sea, Arabian Gulf

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Fadhli launched the Aquatic Animal Diseases Network in the Middle East on Sunday in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The network aims to strengthen the aquaculture industry and the role of aquatic and marine species in food production, as well as control the spread of diseases to ensure sustainable growth in the region’s aquaculture production. 

It also aims to train veterinarians and aquatic health specialists, and to coordinate the efforts of international organizations providing aquatic health services. 

Members of the network include countries bordering the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, the UAE and Yemen.

The Fish Health and Safety Laboratory in Jeddah will serve as a reference laboratory for member states. 

The network was launched in the presence of Dr. Monique Eloit, director general of the World Organization for Animal Health. 

Saudi Arabia and the organization are collaborating on several projects, including the Kingdom’s rabies, foot-and-mouth disease and peste des petits ruminants programs. 

They are also working together on a project to evaluate veterinary services in the Kingdom, as well as a veterinary laboratory twinning program with reference laboratories in France and Italy.

 


Saudi deputy foreign minister meets with Chinese ambassador to Kingdom

Saudi deputy foreign minister meets with Chinese ambassador to Kingdom
Updated 27 November 2022

Saudi deputy foreign minister meets with Chinese ambassador to Kingdom

Saudi deputy foreign minister meets with Chinese ambassador to Kingdom
  • Officials reviewed bilateral relations and ways of enhancing them to serve common interests

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s deputy foreign minister met with the Chinese ambassador to the Kingdom in Riyadh on Sunday, Saudi Press Agency reported.

During the meeting, Waleed Al-Khuraiji and Chen Weiqing reviewed bilateral relations and ways of enhancing them to serve common interests. They also discussed issues of common interest.


University of Tabuk and Red Sea Global launch Saudi tourism program 

University of Tabuk and Red Sea Global launch Saudi tourism program 
Updated 27 November 2022

University of Tabuk and Red Sea Global launch Saudi tourism program 

University of Tabuk and Red Sea Global launch Saudi tourism program 
  • University of Tabuk and Red Sea Global have launched the tourism educational program Red Sea Hospitality Pioneers
  • Graduates of the program will be qualified for job opportunities at hotels, tourist resorts, restaurants, food and beverage departments, and event organizing companies

JEDDAH: The University of Tabuk and Red Sea Global signed a partnership to launch a tourism educational program for Saudi students, Red Sea Hospitality Pioneers.

The program will take place at the Tourism and Hospitality College of Al-Wajh governorate, located on the coast of the Red Sea.

The University of Tabuk tweeted: “The Red Sea Hospitality Pioneers Program, ending with employment will begin in the second semester of the academic year 1444 AH (2023 A.D.).”

The eight semester-program is divided into two tracks of intermediate diplomas, including the Food and Beverage Management Diploma, which will teach students operational skills including purchasing ingredients, developing menus, and preparing, presenting, and serving food and beverages.

The Hospitality Management Diploma, meanwhile, will see students learn skills that will enable them to succeed with careers in luxury hospitality services covering different aspects ranging from sales and customer services to policies and procedures used to ensure proper and smooth operations.

Graduates of the program will be qualified for job opportunities at hotels, tourist resorts, restaurants, food and beverage departments, and event organizing companies.

The Red Sea Hospitality Pioneers Program features monthly monetary rewards from RSG to be given to all enrolled students, internships at RSG-affiliated international hotels, and will see distinguished students receive internship programs at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

A similar program was launched previously between the same parties targeting students aged 18 and above to enhance and qualify local talents. RSG has launched many other programs over the years with the same goal, to enhance tourism quality in the region and to educate and qualify local talents, including the English For Tourism Program, the Red Sea Art Competition, as well as the Red Sea Ecotecture.