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 Post subject: Re: Saudi Arabia and sex
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:20 pm 
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Saudi cleric urges veil for baby girls
5 February 2013

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AFP - A Saudi cleric has said baby girls should be veiled to avoid sexual harassment, in remarks broadcast on television that sparked outrage in the conservative kingdom.

"Girls should wear the veil from the age of two," said Abdullah Daoud on Islamic television Al-Majd, adding that Saudis should follow the example of South Asian countries. "If a girl is sexually desired, her parents should cover her face and force her to wear veil," to protect her against perverts, he said. Practicing Muslims believe that girls must begin wearing head covers such as the veil from the age of puberty.

Daoud's comments, in an interview which was posted on the Internet, sparked an outcry across social networks and the local press, with prominent cleric Salman al-Audah joining the protests.

"We hope that these aberrant statements will not be exaggerated and taken as fatwa (religious edict)," Audah told AFP on Tuesday. Saudi columnist Badria al-Bisher slammed Daoud for his proposal of veiling little girls, "instead of proposing a stern law curbing sexual harassment, and school and media awareness campaigns."

Saudi tweeters also vented their fury. "What level of moral deterioration have such people reached?" asked lawyer Abdulrahman al-Lahim on Twitter, claiming that "sex obsession" is behind such statements.

"The best solution is to exile women, old or young, to remote countries, as long as we have men acting like animals," wrote female Saudi journalist Halima Muthffar on Twitter.

Women in Saudi Arabia are deprived of many rights that are considered basic elsewhere, including the right to drive, and cannot travel without proper authorisation from their male guardians.

Source: France24.

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 Post subject: Re: Saudi Arabia and sex
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:34 pm 
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victor wrote:
Gay Saudi prince jailed for life for killing servant lover

Gay Saudi prince Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud has been jailed for life for beating and strangling his servant to death in the culmination of a campaign of ''sadistic'' abuse.

20 October 2010



He must serve a minimum term of 20 years in jail for murdering Bandar Abdulaziz in a ''brutal'' assault at their five-star hotel. The prince bit the 32-year-old hard on both cheeks during the attack at their suite in February, which was said to have had a ''sexual element''. He was fuelled by champagne and Sex on the Beach cocktails when he began the ferocious beating after a Valentine's Day night out. When arrested, he at first wrongly believed he had diplomatic immunity but his special status as a Saudi royal could not save him from British justice.

The 34-year-old, a member of one of the world's richest and most powerful dynasties, was found guilty of murder by an Old Bailey jury after just one hour and 35 minutes of deliberation. He was also convicted of a second count of grievous bodily harm with intent relating to a previous ''nasty'' attack in a lift at the Landmark Hotel, in Marylebone, central London, where the men were staying.

If he ever returns to his home country, Saud faces the possibility of execution because being gay is a capital offence there. He could seek asylum in Britain when he is eventually released.

Sentencing him today, Mr Justice Bean said: ''It is very unusual for a prince to be in the dock on a murder charge. No-one in this country is above the law. It would be wrong for me to sentence you either more severely or more leniently because of your membership of the Saudi royal family.''

Source: Guardian UK.

Gay Saudi prince who killed manservant to serve jail term at home
6 February 2013

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Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz Bin Nasir was jailed in 2010 for killing Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz in their five-star hotel suite in London Photo: AFP/Getty Images

A homosexual Saudi prince jailed for life in Britain for killing his manservant is to serve the rest of his sentence in his home country, it emerged today.

Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz Bin Nasir, a grandson of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah II, was jailed in 2010 for killing Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz at their five-star hotel suite in London. He was convicted at the Old Bailey, after the court heard he had subjected his aide to a "sadistic" campaign of violence and sexual abuse, which culminated in the "brutal" assault. The 36-year-old, a member of one of the world's richest and most powerful dynasties, was told he must serve a minimum term of 20 years in jail for the Valentine's Day night out attack, fuelled by champagne and "Sex on the Beach" cocktails.

Today, government sources confirmed that Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, had approved the prince's transfer to a jail in Saudi Arabia. It was not specified when the prince would be transferred, but The Times reported that he was expected to fly home within weeks. He is one of 11 Saudi citizens in British jails that are eligible for the transfers home. Under the prisoner transfer agreement, which came into operation in August, five Britons currently languishing in Saudi prisons can ask to serve the remainder of their sentences in the UK.

The Ministry of Justice said it did not comment on individual prison transfer cases. A spokeswoman added: "We have a prison transfer arrangement with Saudi Arabia which allows nationals of either country to serve their prison sentence in their home state."

Saud denied that he was homosexual during his high-profile trial but the jury was told that he had ordered gay escorts in London. He had also frequently looked at websites for gay massage parlours and escort agencies. His lawyers argued that he could face the death penalty in Saudi Arabia over the revelations of homosexuality.

The jury heard that the prince was fuelled by champagne and cocktails when he beat and strangled Abdulaziz to death on February 15, 2010. A post-mortem found that Abdulaziz had suffered heavy blows to the head, injuries to the brain and ears and severe neck injuries consistent with strangulation by hand. Prosecutors said bite marks on his cheeks showed a clear "sexual element" to the killing, which also involved up to 37 separate blows. The prince then tried to cover up the murder. Following the attack he had ordered two glasses of milk and some water, dragged the corpse into the bed, and tried to clean up the blood. He told police that the victim had gained his injuries in an attack on a London street "weeks before", but the hotel's CCTV footage recorded the attack. The judge had declared he had used Mr Abdulaziz, originally from Sudan, as a "human punch bag".

Source: Telegraph UK.

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 Post subject: Re: Saudi Arabia and sex
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 6:26 am 
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Online matchmaking a hit with Saudi couples
13 February 2013

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A Saudi woman uses a tablet computer to visit a website offering a matchmaking service for people hoping to get married. In ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, where the sexes are strictly segregated, traditional matchmakers face tough competition from blossoming marriage services on online social networks.

AFP - In ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, where the sexes are strictly segregated, traditional matchmakers face tough competition from blossoming marriage services on online social networks.

More than 200 Twitter accounts and dozens of other forums on the Internet offer services for Saudi men and women seeking spouses, angering matchmakers like Um Sami who sees it as "organised prostitution."

"Social networks undermine our work and everything they offer is virtual: they use nicknames and they are not reliable," said Um Sami, an elderly woman and well-established matchmaker from the Red Sea city of Jeddah. For her, many of these websites are "fraudulent" and some are even an organised form of prostitution. "Marriage via online platforms is one hundred percent doomed to failure," she said, stressing that only her traditional matchmaking method can lead to a successful marriage.

For matchmakers like Um Sami the business has flourished by word of mouth. Families ready to marry off their offsprings contact her with details about their children and provide pictures which she carries around with her on rounds to match candidates. But her job is not a simple one because, as she says, there are many different types of weddings that can be contracted in Saudi Arabia, from the traditional unions to unconventional ones by Western standards such as the "misyar" marriage. A misyar -- or "visitor's" marriage -- is one in which couples live separately but can meet up when they want, usually for sexual encounters. It is allowed in Sunni-powerhouse Saudi Arabia but couples who choose to go that way will keep it a family secret shared only with the matchmaker.

In a traditional union sealed with the help of Um Sami, the bride and groom each pay the matchmaker around 2,000 riyals (530 dollars. But the fee for a misyar wedding is much higher and usually starts around 5,000 riyals (1,300 dollars) -- with the man alone having to foot the bill while his spouse continues to live in her own home.

Misyar is often the marriage of choice for polygamous men as well as divorcees and widows in Saudi Arabia, where extra-marital relations are strictly banned and punishable under rigid Islamic laws. A couple caught having sex out of wedlock in Saudi Arabia are sentenced to stoning and lashes, and unmarried couples who dare share a meal in a restaurant or spend time together alone risk being arrested. Human rights activists and intellectuals have slammed misyar marriages as a form of "legalised adultery."

Offers to help seal both traditional marriages and misyars are rife on the Internet. The website khtabh.net allows men and women to post their requests. One message reads: "Misyar marriage wanted immediately in Riyadh... and the matchmaker or mediator will be offered a big reward."

Candidates are also asked to give personal details, including their marital status, monthly salary, education and a brief description of who they are and what they look like. A man wanting to marry has posted a request on one such site for a "tender, quiet, good humoured and plump" wife.

A woman from Riyadh with special needs said she was 23 "pretty, blind, fair-skinned. Willing to marry a normal, non-smoking man even if he is polygamous as long as his first wife is informed."

Both online matchmaking sites in Saudi Arabia and matchmakers frown upon more unorthodox forms of marriage such as "misfar" and "misyaf" marriages for men who travel frequently or spend each summer abroad. "There are so many offers which one finds tempting to try, but my friends have warned me against certain websites that can be traps," said 20-year-old Amjad Ismael. Many online matchmaking services ask for a deposit upfront, he said.

Abu Mohammed, a 40-year-old who is already married and is looking for a second wife, said he has had a "bad experience" with online matchmakers. "They are not serious. They try to take advantage of people contacting them, especially if they are married," he said. "I have now decided to go back to the traditional matchmaker to ensure confidentiality."

But younger people still prefer social networks as a tool to tie the knot "because they are an easy way to get to know each other," said sociologist Abu Bakr Baqdar. "In the past, people got to know one another through families and neighbours," he said. Young people are now looking for "less traditional means to meet away from their families' interference."

Source: France24.

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 Post subject: Re: Saudi Arabia and sex
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:24 pm 
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Saudi Arabia deports 'irresistible' men deemed 'too handsome' to women
By Romil Patel
17 April 2013

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Three men were forcibly removed from an annual culture festival in Saudi Arabia and subsequently sent back to the UAE after it was deemed that women could find them irresistible.

The delegates from the United Arab Emirates were in attendance at the Jenadrivah Heritage & Culture Festival in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, when religious police officers stormed the stand and evicted the men because “they are too handsome,” according to the Arabic language newspaper, Elaph.

“A festival official said the three Emiratis were taken out on the grounds they are too handsome and that the Commission [for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices] members feared female visitors could fall for them,” Elaph reported. The UAE released an official statement indicating that the religious police were anxious over the unexpected presence of an unnamed female artist in the pavilion. “Her visit to the UAE stand was a coincidence as it was not included in the programme which we had already provided to the festival’s management,” Saeed Al Kaabi, head of the UAE delegation to the festival, said in a statement. It was not clear if the woman’s presence was related to the decision to evict the “handsome” Emirati men.

Following the incident, Elaph said the festival’s management took swift action to deport the trio back to Abu Dhabi, capital of the Emirates.

With a majority Sunni Muslim population, Saudi Arabia is a deeply religious and ultraconservative society which forbids women from interacting with unrelated males and refuses to accord them with the same rights as men. It is the only country in the world where women are banned from driving. Change could be on the horizon, however, with billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal recently expressing his support for female drivers. “The question of allowing women to drive in Saudi Arabia will save more than 500,000 jobs in addition to the social and economic benefits,” the prince tweeted on Sunday.

It is estimated that eight million foreigners work in Saudi Arabia and thousands have been dismissed from their jobs and then deported as part of a government effort against foreigners who live and work illegally in the country.

Source: Telegraph UK.

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 Post subject: Re: Saudi Arabia and sex
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:00 pm 
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Omar Borkan Al Gala: Is this one of the three men who are 'too sexy' for Saudi Arabia?
by Rob Williams
Friday, 26 April 2013

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Omar is a poet, an actor and a photographer from Dubai. Omar Borkan Al Gala

He gazes directly into the camera: all dreamy brown eyes, smouldering good looks and chiseled features. A camel dominates the background.

It's certainly a striking image, but is Omar Borkan Al Gala, poet, actor and internet sensation, one of the men who was too sexy for Saudi Arabia?

Earlier this week, three men were forcibly removed from a culture festival in Saudi Arabia after religious police deemed the men "too handsome". According to Arabic language newspaper Elaph a festival official said the three Emiratis were taken out on the grounds they are too handsome and there were concerns that female visitors could fall for them.

Until now the identities of the three illegally handsome men has been unknown, but web speculation now suggests that one of them at least could be Omar Borkan Al Gala. Though far from being confirmation a post on Facebook has prompted widespread speculation.

On his page Al Gala posted a link to an article about the deportation with the comment: "This is what written in newspapers in over the world :)" Elsewhere, in a typical post the handsome poet writes: "The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides."

If Al Gala is not the handsome man mentioned he has done nothing to dampen the rumours that he is - instead choosing to continue to post his smouldering photographs.

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Source: The Independent UK.

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 Post subject: Re: Saudi Arabia and sex
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:01 pm 
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:? :yeahright:

Oh, and he also just LUUUUUUUUVS broadway musicals, Judy Garland, Liza Minelli and Cher...

And does this now mean that any and all remotely good-looking Saudi men are deported, leaving only hairy trolls and such? And if so, WHERE ARE THEY!!??

8)

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 Post subject: Re: Saudi Arabia and sex
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:35 pm 
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You can kick it: girls are permitted to play sport at Saudi Arabian schools for first time
by Abdullah Al-Shihri, Aya Batrawy
Sunday, 5 May 2013

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Saudi girls will be allowed to play sport in private schools for the first time. AFP

RIYADH (AP) -- Saudi girls will be allowed to play sport in private schools for the first time.

In the latest of a series of incremental changes aimed at increasing women’s rights in the ultra-conservative kingdom, private girls’ schools are now permitted to hold sports activities that comply with the rules of sharia. Students must adhere to “decent dress” codes and female teachers will be given priority in supervising the activities, according to the education ministry’s requirements.

“It’s about time,” said Aziza Youssef, a professor at King Saud University. “Everything is being held back in Saudi Arabia,” she added.

An education ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Dakhini said that the monumental decision “stems from the teachings of our religion, which allow women such activities in accordance with sharia.”

Sport for women has been largely restricted to those who can afford membership of expensive health clubs. They are often attached to hospitals since women’s gyms were closed in 2010 on the grounds that they were unlicensed. The decision makes sport a stage for the push to improve women’s rights once again, nearly a year after two Saudi female athletes made an unprecedented appearance at the London 2012 Olympics.

Saudi Arabia allowed the athletes to compete only after the International Olympics Committee put intense pressure on the kingdom to end its practice of sending just male teams to the Games. Their participation was not shown on Saudi TV stations.

Source: AP via The Independent UK.

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 Post subject: Re: Saudi Arabia and sex
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:57 pm 
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Gulf lovers use smartphones to beat segregation
28 June 2013

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A woman holds her mobile as she walks past a coffee shop in the Saudi capital Riyadh on June 17, 2013.

AFP - Jaber and his girlfriend flirt the day away, never wasting a minute to sweet-talk and dream of a future together, but like most Gulf Arab youths they can only do it virtually.

In the United Arab Emirates and all across the conservative Gulf countries, dating is unacceptable among nationals while arranged marriages are the norm.

To beat the segregation imposed by a stern society, young men and women meet through chatting applications available on smartphones. Sitting in a coffee shop in a luxurious Abu Dhabi mall, the love-struck Emirati young man holds a tea cup in one hand while the other one is busy typing love messages on the keyboard of his BlackBerry. "I saw her at the movies. I asked an employee there to hand her my BlackBerry PIN code," Jaber recalls with a grin the day he met his girlfriend. "I didn't really expect her to add me to her contact list, or for such a love story to evolve between us," said Jaber, who is in his 20s.

But it did and the first cyberspace encounter took place two months later when the young woman mustered enough courage and linked up with Jaber via Skype. It was a short meeting, said Jaber, who staunchly refused to reveal his girlfriend's name because making their relationship public would trigger a scandal in their conservative society. That first Skype date was enough "to affirm our love," said the university graduate. Eventually he convinced his beloved to meet him in secret and now the couple are considering the next step -- namely should Jaber request a meeting with her father in line with tradition and formally ask for her hand in marriage.

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Men look at a mobile as they sit in a coffee shop in the Saudi capital Riyadh on June 17, 2013.

"Despite the modernisation in the United Arab Emirates, families still hold on to their traditional conservative values," says Jamila Khanji, adviser of research and studies at the Family Development Foundation in Abu Dhabi. "Families still arrange their children's marriages, even though they have now become more flexible by allowing the engaged couple to meet, or accepting longer engagement periods to give the couple better chances to get to know one another," she said.

But while this is the case in the UAE, considered one of the Gulf's most liberal countries, it is nearly impossible for couples in neighbouring Saudi Arabia to meet as the ultra-conservative kingdom strictly prohibits mixing between the sexes. In a cafeteria at the entrance of a shopping mall in Al-Tahliya street, one of Riyadh's most vibrant districts, dozens of young men look on as fully veiled girls in high heels and designer handbags walk past and head towards the seating area reserved to women and families only.

In oil-rich Saudi Arabia it is nearly impossible for men to openly approach a woman but thanks to an easy access to the latest technologies including mobile phone applications, they can indeed meet. By switching on WhosHere, a smartphone application which is popular in the kingdom, a young man sitting at the men's section of the cafeteria could contact girls sitting in the families' section. "I can see that 16 girls have showed up on WhosHere and I can connect with any one of them," says Ahmed, who like Jaber declined to give his surname. Before such applications, men would throw at the girls pieces of paper with their telephone numbers scribbled on them.

But the Saudi telecom authority warned in March that it would ban applications like Skype and WhatsApp if providers failed to allow authorities access to censor content, according to an industry source. Internet messenger application Viber was briefly blocked in June in Saudi Arabia, while BlackBerry nearly got banned in 2010. Authorities cite security concerns to justify their actions.

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A man checks his mobile at a coffee shop in the Saudi capital Riyadh on June 17, 2013.

Although smartphones have become an integral part of dating in the kingdom, the relationship does not develop into marriage, users say. "None of my friends has married a girl he met in this way," said Ahmed. Qatari Alanood has fallen in love with a friend of her brother, but could not reveal her story in a society that shames women who dare voice their feelings. "I communicate with him on Skype," she said, speaking to AFP via Twitter. "It's a hopeless love story."

A 16-year-old student at a girls' school told AFP that Emirati classmates -- not allowed by their families to talk to boys -- use BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) to contact members of the opposite sex. On BBM, users randomly add contacts whom they start talking to. "Then they move on to Skype and Facebook." They sometimes get to finally meet face-to-face, but in most cases the short-lived relationship ends with a click, she said.

Source: France24.

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 Post subject: Re: Saudi Arabia and sex
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:00 am 
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Women shouldn't drive because it damages their ovaries and pelvis, warns Saudi sheikh
By Ted Thornhill
29 September 2013

A Saudi sheikh has warned women that driving could affect their ovaries and pelvises.

Women are currently banned from driving in Saudi Arabia and many have protested against the statute. However, Sheikh Salah al-Luhaydan has warned them that their health could be at risk if they get behind the wheel.

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Sheikh Salah al-Luhaydan also claimed children of women drivers are born with 'disorders of varying degrees'

He told Saudi news website sabq.org: '[Driving] could have a reverse physiological impact. 'Physiological science and functional medicine studied this side [and found] that it automatically affects ovaries and rolls up the pelvis. This is why we find for women who continuously drive cars their children are born with clinical disorders of varying degrees.'

The comments come two years after a ‘scientific’ report claimed that relaxing the ban would also see more Saudis - both men and women - turn to homosexuality and pornography. The startling conclusions were drawn in 2011 at the Majlis al-Ifta’ al-A’ala, Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council, working in conjunction with Kamal Subhi, a former professor at the King Fahd University. Their report assessed the possible impact of repealing the ban in Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world where women are not allowed behind the wheel. It was delivered to all 150 members of the Shura Council, the country’s legislative body.

The report warned that allowing women to drive would ‘provoke a surge in prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce’. Within ten years of the ban being lifted, the report’s authors claimed, there would be ‘no more virgins’ in the Islamic kingdom. And it pointed out ‘moral decline’ could already be seen in other Muslim countries where women are allowed to drive.

In the report Professor Subhi described sitting in a coffee shop in an unnamed Arab state. ‘All the women were looking at me,’ he wrote. ‘One made a gesture that made it clear she was available... this is what happens when women are allowed to drive.’

Women in Saudi Arabia have not been permitted to drive since the establishment of the state in 1932. Hundreds of women have protested against the law - with several facing punishment after the got behind the wheel.

    SAUDI AND WOMEN'S RIGHTS
  • Gender roles in Saudi society come from Sharia - Islamic law - and tribal culture. The law is followed strictly throughout the country, but many issues regarding gender equality revolve around culture, not religion.
  • In 2009 the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report ranked Saudi Arabia 130th out of 134 countries for gender parity.
  • Under Saudi law, all females must have a male guardian, typically a father, brother or husband who has rights over many aspects of the woman's life.
  • Women were previously forbidden from voting or being elected to political office, but women will be able to vote and run in the 2015 local elections, as well as be appointed to the Consultative Assembly.
  • Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that prohibits women from driving.

Shaima Jastaniya, 34, was sentenced to 10 lashes with a whip after being caught driving in Jeddah in 2011. Another woman was stopped by a police patrol after driving six miles to collect her husband near their home in the town of Buraida. As her 'legal guardian' her husband had to sign a declaration that he would not let his wife drive again. One woman took to the roads for four days non-stop in an act of frustrated defiance. Housewife and mother Najla al-Hariri drove around the streets of the Red Sea city of Jeddah back in 2011 'to defend her belief that Saudi women should be allowed to drive.' She said: 'I don't fear being arrested because I am setting an example that my daughter and her friends are proud of.' She added that it was ridiculous she is not allowed to drive in her own country, despite the fact that she is an experienced driver, having driven for five years in Egypt and another five years in Lebanon. At the time the mother was also offering driving lessons to women.

However, the protests sometimes end in tragedy. A young woman driver and three of her passengers were killed after she defied the kingdom’s ban on women motorists. The woman, who was in her 20s, had been driving a 4X4 with nine girlfriends on Saturday night in the capital, Riyadh, in an open area often used by young men in car races. Four of the women were killed when the vehicle overturned. The remaining six were injured and taken to a nearby hospital.

Source: Daily Mail UK.

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 Post subject: Re: Saudi Arabia and sex
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:35 pm 
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Saudi preacher gets 8 years for raping, killing daughter
8 October 2013

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AFP - A Saudi court sentenced a preacher convicted of raping his five-year-old daughter and torturing her to death to eight years in prison and 800 lashes, a lawyer said Tuesday.

In a case that drew widespread public condemnation in the kingdom and abroad, the court also ordered Fayhan al-Ghamdi to pay his ex-wife, the girl's mother, one million riyals ($270,000) in "blood money," lawyer Turki al-Rasheed told AFP. Blood money is compensation for the next of kin under Islamic law. The girl's mother had demanded 10 million riyals ($2.7 million).

Ghamdi's second wife, accused of taking part in the crime, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and 150 lashes, said Rasheed, who is lawyer for the girl's mother. Ghamdi was convicted of "raping and killing his five-year-old daughter Lama," he added.

The girl was admitted to hospital on December 25, 2011 with multiple injuries, including a crushed skull, broken ribs and left arm, extensive bruising and burns, activists said. She died several months later. Ghamdi, a regular guest on Muslim television networks despite not being an authorised cleric in Saudi Arabia, had confessed to having used cables and a cane to inflict the injuries, human rights activists said earlier this year.

Randa al-Kaleeb, a social worker from the hospital where Lama was admitted, said the girl's back was broken and that she had been raped "everywhere". Reportedly, Ghamdi had tortured and raped his daughter after he had doubted her virginity.

Rights activists in the kingdom had been campaigning for harsher punishment of Ghamdi when reports emerged in January that the court would only give him a short jail term and order him to pay blood money to the mother. In ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, where rape and murder are among several crimes punishable by death, a father cannot be executed for murdering his children, nor can husbands be executed for murdering their wives. Such crimes carry a jail sentence between five to 12 years.

Source: France24.

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 Post subject: Re: Saudi Arabia and sex
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:54 am 
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No woman, No drive: Song about Saudi Arabia’s ban on female motorists hits right note on YouTube
by Fernande van Tets
Wednesday, 30 October 2013



A song satirising Saudi Arabia’s driving ban for women has become a surprise internet favourite, getting close to seven million hits on YouTube since being launched on Saturday to coincide with a protest against the rule.

“It has exceeded all our expectations”, Hisham Fageeh, the 26-year-old comedian behind the hit, said. “Say I remember when you used to sit, in the family car, but backseat,” the song begins after Mr Fageeh, dressed in a white thawb cloak and traditional red-chequered scarf, introduces himself as a singer and social activist.

Mr Fageeh will be aware of the fine line he is walking with his satire. Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, is an absolute monarchy that forbids political protests. As a result, protests are rare in Saudi Arabia. Protest songs are even rarer. The idea for “No Woman, No Drive” – an adaptation of Bob Marley’s famous reggae hit, “No Woman, No Cry” – came to the young Saudi comedian in the shower. “Like all good ideas”, he said.

Yet the actual writing and production only happened months later when he was shooting a segment in London, with his friends Fahad Albutairi and Alaa Wardi. They realized Twitter was lighting up with messages about the 26 October campaign to defy the no-driving ban in Saudi Arabia. It also happened to be Mr Fageeh’s 26th birthday. “So we thought, let’s do the video. We made the whole thing in four to five days,” he said.

The lyrics include lines such as “ovaries all safe and well, so you can make lots and lots of babies”, in reference to a Saudi clerk who claimed driving would hurt women’s reproductive capacity. They also mock the social structure in Saudi Arabia where women need a male guardian’s permission to leave the house, marry, work, open a bank account or travel.

On Saturday, 16 women were stopped and fined for driving. They and their male guardians had to pledge to abide by the rule – which isn’t actually a law – in the future. Yet Mr Fageeh has encountered no trouble and said the response has been quite the opposite. “We’ve had nothing but positive feedback,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of support and love from a lot of different people across the spectrum.”

It’s quite a surprise for the Saudi-American comedian, who completed high school in the US, starting just after 9/11. That period provided ample material for when he launched his comedy career in Washington and New York. But real success came in his native Saudi Arabia after he started a web series about a conservative, racist Saudi character that caught on. Now fame is overwhelming him. “I don’t know how to deal with it,” he said, joking that if it all goes awry he can make a living singing the song dressed as a clown at birthday parties.

Source: The Independent UK.

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 Post subject: Re: Saudi Arabia and sex
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:04 am 
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Over 500 Saudi lingerie shops shut for non-compliance
14 November, 2013

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(ANSAmed) - DUBAI - After resolving the age-old paradox of women's lingerie shops run and worked in by men only, Saudi Arabia is now strictly following its new policy of ''feminization'': women's clothing and lingerie shops will from now on have to be run exclusively by women.

The grace period having expired, over 500 have now been shut down after labour ministry inspections due to non-compliance, report Saudi media. Almost 1,200 shops were found to be in violation of the regulations during the Islamic year ending on November 3, with especially high numbers in the holy city of Mecca and the capital Riyadh. The measure marked a break with the conservative tradition forbidding women to be seen in public. It was not brought in solely for social requirements, however, but also economic ones.

Unemployment affects Saudi Arabia as well, and women - who account for 22% of the oil-rich monarchy's workforce - have been hit the hardest. Making it hard for women to find a job is not only their gender but also the very small number of professions open to them, restricted as they for all practical purposes are to the fields of education and healthcare, though a few are starting to be seen in the judiciary, public administration and politics.

The opening up of the retail world to women - though confined to 'family' departments accessible solely to women, with separate entrances for men and women - has made for about 50,000 jobs over the past year, reports Glowork, the first specialised manpower agency for women.

Of the 1.6 million who applied for 'job-seeker' benefits introduced two years ago by Saudi authorities to encourage its citizens to seek work, 1.2 million are women, underscores Glowork, noting that 40% of them have a university degree. Nevertheless, companies that want to hire women and renovate their work environments to prevent 'promiscuity' often do not know who to speak to.

The 'feminization' of retail is also part of the 'Saudization' of the country's workforce, through which the government is trying to reduce the number of foreign workers. The massive sweep-up operation of undocumented workers over the past few days is a means to this end, several analysts say, in order to create opportunities for the poorer segments of Saudi society.

Source: ANSAmed.

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 Post subject: Re: Saudi Arabia and sex
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:06 pm 
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Gay man sentenced for twitter debauchery in Saudi Arabia
By Habib Toumi
July 23, 2014

Manama: A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced an homosexual man to three years in prison and 450 lashes for using his Twitter account to promote homosexual contacts.

The man, 24, was arrested after he posted several tweets calling for homosexual relations and expressing his readiness to meet gay men, local daily Al Watan reported on Tuesday.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the religious police, was alerted about the tweets and was able to apprehend the young man after it set him up using an undercover agent. His mobile phone was searched and several “immoral” pictures were discovered, prompting the Commission to refer his case to the public prosecution.

During the trial, the prosecutor requested a harsh punishment and the confiscation of the mobile phone on charges of promoting debauchery. The suspect reportedly admitted to using his account on the microblog to contact and communicate with homosexuals. The court decided that the 450 lashes would be given over 15 sessions.

Homosexuality is banned in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states that also comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE.

Source: Gulf News.

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 Post subject: Re: Saudi Arabia and sex
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:34 pm 
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For some gays abroad, social networking poses risk
28 September 2014
By DAVID CRARY

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For gay men in the dozens of countries that criminalize their sex lives, social networking can be a blessing or a curse.

High-tech dating apps and social media have enabled countless men to expand their circles of friends and lovers in settings that are hostile to any overt trace of homosexuality. Yet the same technology that they gratefully embrace can expose them to the risk of blackmail, arrest and violence.

In one chilling case earlier this year in Pakistan, police arrested a paramedic on suspicion of killing three men he had met via the gay social network Manjam, which is based in London but has many users in Asia and the Middle East. The suspect told police he considered homosexuality to be evil.

More recently, bloggers and activists raised concerns about how the popular dating app Grindr could be used to pinpoint a user's exact location - even a user living where gay sex is outlawed. After complaints mounted, Grindr announced steps this month to reduce the risks for users in countries with a record of anti-gay violence - including Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Liberia, Sudan and Zimbabwe. And during the past week, Grindr posted a warning to its users in Egypt that police - as part of an ongoing crackdown on gays - "may be posing as LGBT to entrap you." The warning urged users to be careful when arranging meetings with strangers.

Grindr's CEO, Joel Simkhai, says his Los Angeles-based company strives to maximize security and privacy for all its users, yet he cautions that governments hostile to gays can muster powerful surveillance resources. "They have a lot of control and smarts on their side," he said. "We try to use the latest technologies on our end, but so do they, so this tension will continue. If your security is a big issue for you," he added, "a location-based service might not be the best option."

The potential perils of social networking have attracted the attention of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, a New York-based watchdog group.

Hossein Alizadeh, the commission's program coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, said he has tracked two main categories of cases in the region - some in which blackmailers connect with gay men and then threaten to expose them, others in which cyber police and morality police use dating apps and chatroom sites to entrap and arrest gay men. He cited one recent case in Saudi Arabia involving a man from Jordan who was jailed for eight months, then deported. "No lawyer was willing to defend this poor soul," Alizadeh said.

Another Saudi entrapment case was recounted recently on the blog of Scott Long, founder of the LGBT-rights program at Human Rights Watch who is now based in Cairo as a consultant. Long posted the account of an Egyptian man in his 30s, working as a pharmacist in Saudi Arabia, who said he was entrapped by Saudi police through use of a gay online chatroom and spent two years in a Jeddah prison cell along with dozens of other men convicted of homosexual acts. "A lot of them had been arrested on the Internet," the Egyptian man wrote. "The religious police know all the apps and chatrooms. Some of them had got a phone call asking to meet, from someone they'd talked to before on WhatsApp, and that guy turned out to be police."

A guide offering advice on strategies in the event of arrest has been developed by Alizadeh's organization for gays in Iran. "Even if you are on Grindr or Manjam, in most countries that's not a crime - but sodomy is," Alizadeh said. "There's always an element of deniability. If you have a good lawyer, you can argue, `How do you prove I'm gay?' But finding a good lawyer is not always possible."

Sharif Mowlabocus, a senior lecturer at the University of Sussex in Britain, is an expert on digital media and LGBT culture who's been closely following the debate over social-networking security. His verdict: Many gay consumers have been naive. "The service is free or cheap, it is fast, and - for gay men - it allows us to connect with like-minded folk in a way that we've never been able to before," Mowlabocus wrote in an email. "We simply aren't that interested in asking questions of these applications."

Simkhai, the Grindr CEO, called the apps "a lifeline to the gay world" for gays in hostile cultures. Given such attitudes, Mowlabocus said companies that operate gay dating apps have a duty to protect their users and to be transparent about their security measures.

Should men in countries with anti-gay laws stop using such apps altogether?

Mowlabocus considers that unrealistic. "Add loneliness, isolation, or even desire into the mix and we very quickly begin to see the real benefits outweighing the potential risks."

According to human rights groups, there are more than 70 countries which criminalize gay sex. Gay bars and social clubs either don't exist or operate covertly in such places, which makes dating apps a tempting method for making contacts. "The lure of being with other people like yourself - it's something people have a deep desire for, even when there are incredible risks," said Andre Banks, executive director of the international gay-rights group All Out.

For location-based dating apps such as Grindr, the security challenges are especially acute because of the very feature that makes them popular. They are designed to help a user make contact with other users in his vicinity - showing their photos and indicating how close they are. Users' precise locations are not shown during regular use of the app, but controversy arose earlier this year when a Grindr user in Europe was able to determine near-exact whereabouts of thousands of other users, including some in countries with anti-gay laws. This was done via a technique known as trilateration - recording other users' distance from three different locations.

Confronted with criticism, Grindr announced steps this month to reduce the risks for users in countries with a record of anti-gay violence. "Any user who connects to Grindr is these countries will have their distance hidden automatically by default," the company said. Launched in 2009, Grindr says it now has about 2.1 million active monthly users in the U.S. and 2.9 million abroad, including many in countries that outlaw gay sex. The company reports about 17,400 average monthly users in the United Arab Emirates and more than 4,200 in Saudi Arabia, for example.

Another globally popular gay dating app, SCRUFF, also has taken steps to address security concerns. SCRUFF's CEO, Eric Silverberg, said recent technical modifications enable users to continue learning about other users in their vicinity, but seek to thwart any entrapment efforts by refraining from listing the users in order of their proximity. "I think you'll see both the users and the apps getting smarter," Silverberg said. "It takes both sides."

Launched in 2010 and based in New York City, SCRUFF claims 7 million users, more than half of them outside the U.S. For users in countries hostile to gays, SCRUFF plans to post country-specific alerts detailing the scope of anti-gay laws. The company also says it will make "hide distance" a default setting in such countries, while warning this may not always guarantee security.

Grindr recently shared with The Associated Press some of the responses it received from an informal survey of users in countries where gay sex is outlawed. A Venezuelan living in the United Arab Emirates said Grindr was widely used there despite worries that the UAE secret police sometimes create fake Grindr profiles in order to make arrests. He said one acquaintance managed to avoid arrest by paying a bribe, while another served a 3-month jail term before being deported. A user from Ghana said some of his friends had been beaten and robbed by men they had met on Grindr who had claimed to be gay. Yet he also credited the app for helping him meet some "good guys."

Source: AP.

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 Post subject: Re: Saudi Arabia and sex
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:08 pm 
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Saudi Arabia says it will support human rights as long as they can still kill gay people
26 June 2015
by Joe Morgan

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Middle Eastern country faced criticism for acts of torture against LGBTI people

Saudi Arabia has said it will support human rights as long as they can still kill LGBTI people.

Earlier this week, the country was heavily criticized during a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. It was pointed out that punishing homosexuality with life imprisonment, torture, chemical castration, whipping and the death penalty does not fit in with internationally recognized human rights protecting people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

But government officials have said calls for Saudi Arabia to support LGBTI rights were ‘unacceptable’ and a ‘flagrant interference in its internal affairs’. Faisal bin Hasan Trad, Saudi Arabia’s representative at the UN, said the country will not tolerate criticism of its human rights record. According to Arab News, Trad said ‘some were attempting to portray the country in a bad light’.

The country’s Interior Ministry confirmed on Twitter: ‘Saudi Arabia opposes any resolution for gay rights. Saudi Arabia reaffirms its support for human rights, and respect towards all international conventions, as long as it is in accordance with Islamic law.’

The LGBTI community is forced to go underground in Saudi Arabia, mostly in the capital Riyadh. But the religious police are cracking down. Several men were arrested in a raid on two ‘gay parties‘ earlier this month. And last year, a 24-year-old was sentenced to jail and 450 lashings of a whip just because he was trying to meet other gay men on Twitter.

Source: GayStarNews.

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