Sexual assault
The Saudi government has approved a legal amendment to an anti-sexual harassment law allowing naming and shaming offenders in public. Image Credit: Creative Commons

Cairo: The Saudi government has approved a legal amendment to an anti-sexual harassment law allowing naming and shaming offenders in public, according to local media.

The amendment allows publishing details of a final ruling against harassers in media, a step aimed at deterring would-be offenders.

The ruling is allowed to be published at the convict’s expense in one or more local newspaper or any other media depending on the “enormity of the crime and it effect on society,” according to the amendment.

In 2018, Saudi Arabia started enforcing an anti-harassment system including jail terms and hefty fines against people convicted of sex offences.

Last October, Saudi Arabia’s consultative Shura Council backed a proposal for public naming of sex harassers as part of legal steps to fight sex offences in the country.

Women's rights

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has sought to fight sex offences and boost women’s rights as part of drastic reforms in the kingdom championed by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

In 2018, Saudi Arabia approved a law criminalising sexual harassment, making the act punishable by up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of SR300,000.

The state Saudi Human Rights Commission has defined harassment as every verbal expression, deed or motion carrying sexual insinuations made by a person towards another referring to the body and honour or harming modesty in any way including modern technology methods.