Sexual assault
Assault [Illustrative image] Image Credit: Creative Commons

Dubai: A Saudi lawyer has warned the public against harassing children saying it is a grave crime punishable by law.

According to Saudi law, those found guilty of harassing or sexually assaulting children will be jailed for a period of no less than 2 years and not more than 5 years in addition to a fine of no less than SR300,000 and not exceeding SR500,000.

In an interview with Al Ekhbariya TV, lawyer Amal Aseelan said that 70 per cent of child molesters are acquaintances and relatives because they can easily reach children.

The penalty will be doubled if the victim is a person with special needs, or a parent, or those above the age of 60 years or a pregnant woman who suffered a miscarriage as a result of the abuse.

The penalty will also be doubled if the abuse occurred at the workplace, a study centre or prayer area or in case of the perpetrator being someone entrusted with the application of the provisions of this law, or it occurred with the use of a weapon.

The Saudi law also prohibits producing, publishing, displaying, circulating and possessing any printed, visual or audio work directed at a child that addresses or provokes his instincts in a manner that encourages a behaviour contrary to the provisions of Islamic Shariah or public order or public morals, or would instigate him to behavioral or intellectual deviation.”