Saudi Talk Show Female Producer Sentenced to 60 Flogs
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, ANHRI, refrains from commenting on the verdict; leaving it to the Arab reader to comment on such a blow to freedom of opinion and expression
The District Court of Jeddah sentenced a young Saudi woman, Rosana, to 60 flogs after being convicted of violating the "common decency law". The young woman is a producer to the show "Ahmar Bel Khat El-Arid" aired on the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC). The verdict was in response to an episode of the show where Mazen Abd El-Gawad, a young Saudi man, boasted about his sexual adventures. The verdict is final and executory.
The 22 year old Rosana was accused of working at an unlicensed media channel; as LBC was not licensed to air in Saudi Arabia. In addition, she was accused of offering technical aid and helping to produce the show, advertising it on electronic sites and facilitating meetings with guests and the show work team.
Rosana said she had no intention of making an appeal to the sentence, denying her knowledge of LBC channel being unlicensed in Saudi. She also denied being a part of the show in which Abd El-Gawad was interviewed stating that her only crime was cooperating with the channel.
In July 2009, Mazen appeared on an LBC talk show, from his residence, speaking about his sexual experiences. Mazen was charged of "expressing sin" after 200 Saudi citizens sued him for "expressing sin". The incident led to closing down the LBC channel office in Saudi Arabia. Mazen was sentenced to 5 years in prison, 1000 flogs and was banned from traveling.
It is worth mentioning that billionaire Prince Al Waleed Ben Talal is a share holder of LBC.
the first time holds from commenting on the sentence that demands the flogging of a young woman for simply doing her job. She is punished for working in an unlicensed channel, as if it is the duty of every employee to inspect the legal permits of their employer.
ANHRI refrains from commenting on this verdict and leaves it the Arab reader to comment and express his/her opinion on such a verdict.
ANHRI reminds that flogging is abolished a long time ago; no country still set its punishment in flogging in the 21st century.
Physical punishment is so degrading and disrespectful to any human being. It is especially degrading went it comes to a media personnel, someone who has the power to influence public opinion.
ANHRI asserts that these actions by the Saudi government have crossed the boundaries of human rights and freedoms, at the price of pleasing its people.