Cairo: A social media celebrity has been referred to prosecution in Saudi Arabia for spreading false news over religious authorities’ performance in the country, Saudi media reported.
The female influencer, whose name was not revealed, had alleged that the Saudi Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice forces unmarried couples caught together to marry for at least two years with a dowry of SR2,000.
The embattled celebrity also alleged that those failing to remain in marriage for the abovementioned period are penalised by 10 years in prison and flogging.
Meanwhile, the Saudi state media watchdog General Commission for Audiovisual Media summoned the influencer in question over spreading the false information on its Snapchat account in a way deemed inciting public opinion, Saudi reports said.
For its part, the General Presidency of the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice denied what it termed as rumours about its performance, saying the commission does its job in line with its regulations.
The influencer’s claims are deemed a violation of Saudi Arabia’s anti-cyber crime law, legal experts said.
“Producing any material infringing public order, religious values, public morals or private life is criminalised under the anti-cybercrime system,” lawyer Majed Al Ahmari told Okaz newspaper.
The offence is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of SR3 million besides publishing the summary of the court ruling at the offender’s expense, he added.