Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing ISIS execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Luc Besson back in action with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande says global security ‘worst since 2001’

    Read more

  • France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Video: Dozens arrested despite smaller protests in Ferguson

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

  • Video: Life in under-siege Donetsk

    Read more

  • Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

    Read more

Middle east

Saudi female journalist sentenced to 60 lashes over TV show

Video by Luke BROWN

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-11-16

A Saudi female journalist said Saturday that a court has ordered her to receive 60 lashes for working at a television network that aired a man's sexual confessions.

AFP - A Saudi female journalist said Saturday that a court has ordered her to receive 60 lashes for working at a television network that aired the sexual confessions of a man.

Rozana al-Yami said a judge in the Red Sea coastal town of Jeddah dropped all charges that she had been directly involved with the episode of a programme on LBC, a Saudi-owned Lebanese network, in July.

However, Yami said the judge sentenced her to 60 lashes for having been a part-time employee for LBC's Saudi operations. The judge mentioned LBC had lacked the appropriate operating licence, she said without elaborating.

"It's a punishment for all journalists through me," Yami told AFP by telephone.

"They just said the channel was illegal. But the Saudi minister of information himself appeared on LBC a couple of weeks ago," she said.

Saudi judges base their rulings on strict Islamic sharia law, but it was not immediately clear how the judge in this case reached the verdict.

Yami, 22, until recently a reporter for the Arabic women's magazine Roaa, said she did not know when her sentence would be carried out. She does not plan an appeal, saying she feared she could end up with a harsher sentence.

Her sentencing comes after Saudi airline sales clerk Mazen Abdul Jawad was convicted of offensive behaviour and sentenced to five years in jail and 1,000 lashes on October 7 for his appearance on the LBC show "Bold Red Line," in which he talked about picking up girls and having sex with them.

Three friends who appeared on the show with him were given two-year terms and 300 lashes each, while a cameraman who helped film the episode was sentenced to two months in jail.

Abdul Jawad's lawyer Sulaiman al-Jimaie expressed shock at Yami's sentence because she had nothing to do with him or the episode of the programme he appeared in.

Jimaie said the court produced evidence that Yami had helped solicit people to appear on other episodes of "Bold Red Line", a hit talk show for LBC hosted by TV star Malik Maktebi.

Jimaie was not in the court to hear the judge's final ruling, but said it is simply because of Yami connection to the show, which features discussion about subjects often taboo in conservative Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia that are in LBC's broad satellite footprint.

"For me it's about the same programme," he said of her conviction.

"She made an announcement for this programme, an email to find others to take part.

"It's an incredible decision," he said, comparing it to the recent trials in Sudan of female journalists for wearing "indecent" trousers.

He called it an attack on journalism generally, and questioned why the case was heard in a criminal court rather than a special media tribunal linked to the information ministry.

"They made this decision because she is a journalist," he told AFP.

"It will be difficult for any journalist to work in the future after this."

The programme has also drawn criticism against LBC and its flamboyant, progressive owner, Saudi multi-billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal from conservative Saudi clerics.

Alwaleed has in recent years pushed hard against Saudi rules banning cinemas and music in public places through his Rotana and LBC media groups.

However, according to media reports Saturday, LBC has decided to stop broadcasting "Bold Red Line" outside of Lebanon.

Date created : 2009-10-25

COMMENT(S)