x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Saudi sex braggart gets five years

Appeals court uphold a sentence of five years and 1,000 lashes for Saudi man who talked about his sexual exploits on television.

RIYADH // A Saudi appeals court has upheld a sentence of five years in jail and 1,000 lashes for a Saudi man who talked about his sexual exploits on television, newspapers reported today. The court in Jeddah also confirmed a five-year travel ban for airline employee Mazen Abdul-Jawad, and sentences of two years plus 300 lashes for three friends who also appeared on the show, aired by Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC).

Officials at the court could not be reached for comment. Abdul-Jawad, a divorced father of four, was arrested in August after discussing his premarital sexual encounters on LBC's "In Bold Red" programme. LBC's Western-style entertainment programmes and talk shows are popular in Saudi Arabia. But it is one of the world's most conservative countries, and many viewers were shocked by the show. Saudi judges, who are clerics of its strict Wahhabi school of Islam, have wide latitude to issue sentences according to their interpretation of Islamic law, which critics say leads to some arbitrary rulings.

Authorities closed LBC's offices in Saudi Arabia after the show was aired. The convicted men can appeal again to a higher court. * Reuters