Female Shoura Council member hails Saudi measure criminalizing sexual harassment

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"(The legislation) aims at combating the crime of harassment, preventing it, applying punishment against perpetrators and protecting the victims in order to safeguard the individual's privacy, dignity and personal freedom which are guaranteed by Islamic law and regulations", a statement from the Shura Council said. He has been detained previously and spent several years in prison.

The penalties increase to a fine of 300,000 riyals (about $80,000) and up to five years in jail, depending on the severity. "Driving, although probably the main reason for it, is not the only one", Shura council member Hoda Al-Helaissi told the site.

(Web Desk) - Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is said to be shot and injured in heavy gunfire that erupted from outside the royal palace, reports Press TV.

"It is a deterrent law compared to a number of other laws in other countries", she said. Not too long ago, a controversial Saudi preacher set off a social media firestorm after sharing a thread of tweets that suggested "women instigate men to rape and assault them".

The legislation will officially become law when it is declared in a royal decree.

Moreover, what about punishing those who witness harassment but either don't report or choose to hide it? She told Arab News that the bill is "not only for women, but for all genders of different ages and in different situations".

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"The Saudi government seems so consumed with silencing dissent that even activists who have gone quiet for fear of retribution are being targeted again", said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

This follows King Salman's historic decision in September 2017 to allow women to drive from June 24.

Human Rights Watch voiced concern on Wednesday over the "vague charges" the activists are facing, adding that numerous country's activists have disappeared from the activism sphere following the arrests.

Saudi police recently arrested 11 women's rights advocates in a sweeping crackdown.

It added, "If, as it appears, their detention is related exclusively to their work as human rights defenders and activists on women's issues, they should be released immediately".

The anti-harassment law comes at a time when Saudi Arabia is facing criticism for detaining women's rights activists and branding them as traitors simply for their activism.

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