Saudi Arabia Introduces Legislation to Outlaw Sexual Harassment

Saudi Arabia Introduces Legislation to Outlaw Sexual Harassment

Saudi Arabia Introduces Legislation to Outlaw Sexual Harassment

However, your editorial (The kingdom's rulers say they are advancing women by locking them up, 22 May) misses an opportunity to encourage a more liberal approach by Saudi Arabia.

"Thankfully, the law has finally seen the light".

"(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.

The measure, which was passed by the Shura Council, carries a maximum 5-year prison term and fine of up to 300,000 riyals ($80,000, or €70,000).

"There is a contradiction between the deeds and the words", said Abu-Dayyeh by email.Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has courted Western allies to support his reforms.

The measure has been passed by the Cabinet and an advisory council, and will become law with a royal decree.

They are entitled to the right to legal representation, to know the nature of the charges against them, to have access to their families and to be brought before an impartial tribunal within a reasonable period of time, she added.

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The decision to lift a decades-old ban on women driving cars was hailed as proof of a new progressive trend in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Shaalan's work has been published in a number of journals, including "Methods of Care for Children Living in Orphanages in Saudi Arabia (an exploratory field study)" in the Journal of International Education Research, and "Chronic Back Pain, Anxiety, and Depression: A case study of five female Saudi patients" in the Egyptian Journal of Psychological Studies.

But the social reforms appear overshadowed by the recent arrests of at least 10 activists, mostly women, fighting for the right to drive and a change in the male guardianship system.

Those detained were also branded traitors and "agents of embassies" by state-affiliated media.

"This new arrest is another worrying development in the continued crackdown on human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia", said Samah Hadid, Amnesty's Middle East Director of Campaigns.

It added, "If, as it appears, their detention is related exclusively to their work as human rights defenders and activists on women's issues, they should be released immediately".

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