Elderly Woman Sentenced to Jail and Lashings for Fraternization in Saudi Arabia

Khamisa Sawadi was convicted last week in Saudi Arabia of fraternizing with men who are not within her immediate family and has been sentenced to 4 months in prison, 40 lashes, and deportation. The men reportedly brought bread to Sawadi, 75.

According to the Arab News, one of the men, who was also sentenced to prison and lashes, said that “The woman asked me to bring bread for her. At that time, I contacted my friend Hadyan who was incidentally passing and he helped me buy bread, as I did not have a car. After I gave her the bread two commission officials came. They first said they belonged to a charity and wanted to know the living condition of the woman. While we were going out they caught us and handed over to the police.”

Sawadi and the two men plan to appeal their sentences. According to Arutz Sheva, human rights lawyer Abdulrahman Al-Lahem has volunteered to represent them.

At a meeting last month, members of the United Nations Human Rights Council urged Saudi Arabia to actively work to end pervasive human rights violations in the country, particularly those against women and children. Women’s rights in Saudi Arabia are currently limited on a number of fronts including marriage rights, freedom to travel, property ownership, education, and work.


Feminist Daily Newswire 2/9/09; Global Voices Online 3/16/09; Arutz Sheva 3/16/09; Arab News 3/11/09

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