JEDDAH — The Saudi security authorities have begun announcing the names of those arrested on harassment charges as per the provisions of the Anti-Harassment Law.

In a press statement issued on Friday, Makkah police revealed for the first time the full name of the accused while announcing the arrest of an Egyptian expatriate for harassing a woman. The police said that legal measures were taken against the arrested Egyptian, Walid Al-Sayed Abdel Hamid, and that he was referred to the Public Prosecution.

Meanwhile, the Jeddah governorate police announced on Saturday the arrest of a Saudi citizen Nasser Hadi Hamad Al-Salah for harassing a woman. Legal measures were taken against the citizen and he was referred to the Public Prosecution.

The Anti-Harassment Law stipulates that any person who commits a harassment crime shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, and a fine not exceeding SR100,000, or one of these two penalties.

According to the law, the penalty is increased to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, and a fine not exceeding SR300,000, or one of these two penalties in case the offense is repeated or committed in the following circumstances: a) If the victim is a child. b) If the victim is a person with special needs. c) If the perpetrator has direct or indirect authority over the victim. d) If the offence occurs in a workplace, place of study, shelter or care center. e) If the perpetrator and the victim are of the same sex. f) If the victim is asleep, unconscious or in any similar state at the time of the crime. g) If the crime occurs in times of crisis, disaster or accidents.

Article one of the law stipulates that the law will be applied in the event of happening of the crime of harassment in terms of any utterance, act or gesture of a sexual nature made by a person that impinges on another person’s body, honor or modesty by any means, including modern technologies.

This law aims to combat the crime of harassment, prevent its occurrence, punish perpetrators and protect victims, in order to preserve the privacy, dignity and personal freedom of individuals guaranteed by the Islamic Shariah and the Saudi law.

Apart from revealing the name of the accused, Saudi Arabia also amended its Anti-Harassment Law to include the naming and shaming of those convicted of such crimes by forcing them to publish their sentences in local media at their own expense.

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