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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Mon May 11, 2015, 12:24 PM

30. SaudiWoman's Blog - Punishment In Saudi Arabia

Specifically, the punishment for khilwa - the crime of an unrelated man and woman getting caught together. Read the comments - especially the one about a 75 year old woman being sentenced to a lashing for being in the presence of 2 men.

SaudiWoman "doesn't know about expatriates," but I could enlighten her a little, since I spent 2 years as an expat in The Magic Kingdom. In a restaurant, I once saw an elderly British married couple harassed mercilessly by the Religious Police (muttawa). Their crime was not sitting in the "family section," with all the noisy kids and babies.

Our company had an employee in Saudi Arabia who dated a Filipina nurse. They got caught out on a date in a cafe. When the Religious Police found they weren't married, he was taken to jail. She was escorted to the airport and immediately deported, with a passport notation that she was a prostitute.

This article is from 2009, but poking around her blog will bring up more recent posts:

The punishments that are most newsworthy when it comes to Saudi Arabia, are the ones given to people guilty of khilwa (unrelated man and woman alone together) and extramarital sex. A punishment for khilwa is common and we’ve all come across muttawas trolling coffee shops and restaurants searching for pairs who seem too happy to be related. But what happens after they are caught? I don’t know about expatriates but with Saudis, the man and woman are separated at the spot and questioned to see if their stories correspond.

Questions like name, relatives’ names and even color of furniture, address, employment and all other things married couples naturally know. If they fail the test or refuse to cooperate, they are taken to the local muttawa center. The girl’s father is summoned and the guy is locked up usually after being given a few slaps and punches. The girl is handed over to her father (if he’ll take her) and the guy is later released after they put his information into the system.

He is then required to show up in front of a judge, usually two weeks later to take his sentence. How he appears at the sentencing decides his fate more than anything else. The way he dresses and addresses the judge has more influence than the number of times he has been caught, how and where he was caught…etc. His best bet is to dress like a muttawa, start to grow a beard, hold his head down and look remorseful. He should also tell the judge that since the incident, he has become a born again Muslim. If he could get an established muttawa from a mosque to vouch for him, then he might be lucky enough to be let go with a warning. Otherwise he will most likely be sentenced a number of lashes across the back.

http://saudiwoman.me/2009/08/25/punishment-in-saudi-arabia/

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