Saudi Arabia: 4 men charged with sexually harassing women

Abu Dhabi: Saudi Police have arrested four citizens after they harassed two women in a public place in a Taif shopping centre, police said.

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The women took a video of the offence and posted it on social media, according to a Mecca Police spokesperson.

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The spokesperson said the security authorities identified the four men, in their 20s and 30s, who appeared in the video, as they were harassing the women with sexual connotations.

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“The women filmed and posted a video showing the men harassing them with verbal and indecent signs in a commercial complex in the Taif governorate,” the spokesperson said.

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He added legal measures have been taken against them according to article 6 of the Law on Combating Sexual Harassment, to refer them to the Public Prosecution.

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In 2018, Saudi Arabia approved a law to criminalise sexual harassment in the kingdom.

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The law aims at fighting the crime of harassment, preventing it, punishing perpetrators and protecting victims in order to preserve the privacy, dignity and individual freedoms as guaranteed by Islamic jurisprudence and regulations in place.

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It provides for penalties of up to two years in prison and fines which could amount to 100,000 riyals. In some cases, such as repeat offenders, the sentence could be increased to five years in prison and fines of up to 300,000 riyals.

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The law, which preserves the anonymity of alleged victims, also criminalises incitement to sexual harassment, as well as falsely reporting an incident to the authorities.

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