Blog archive: Saudi Arabia

  • 17th November 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It is now two weeks since Saudi forces first clashed with Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Jabal al-Dukhan (the “Mountain of Smoke”) which straddles the border. Since then, what at first looked like a minor skirmish has turned into a large-scale – and possibly long-term – military operation by...
  • 16th November 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A young man from Qassim province in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to eight months in jail with 300 lashes for meeting an unrelated woman. The couple, who have not been named, made contact online then met at a well-known restaurant in Riyadh, according to al-Jazirah newspaper (in...
  • 27th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The king of Saudi Arab has "waived" a sentence of 60 lashes imposed on TV journalist Rozanna al-Yami, a government official  announced yesterday. Ms Yami, 22, was thought to have been the first Saudi journalist sentenced to flogging in connection with her work. The case arose out of...
  • 19th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Of all the many restrictions on life in Saudi Arabia that might reasonably be lifted, making it easier to buy and sell guns does not spring to mind as an obvious necessity – but the interior ministry seems to think otherwise. It has decided to allow anyone over 25 with a clean criminal record...
  • 13th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Writing in today’s issue of Arab News, Walaa Hawari tells the  shocking story of a mentally and physically disabled Saudi woman who was married off by her father for money – without her consent and to a man she had never met. The woman, identified by the name Fatima, suffered brain...
  • 12th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A three-day workshop organised by the Saudi ministry of municipal and rural affairs is due to start in Jeddah today. Arab News reports: "The workshop aims at familiarising people on using healthy shaving tools, especially razor blades. And also the tools used in barbershops and ways to use...
  • 8th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    This has been widely covered elsewhere but, since I've discussed the case on this blog here and here, I'll just note it for the record: the "Jeddah Casanova" has been sentenced to five years in jail and 1,000 lashes. He is appealing. Posted by Brian Whitaker, 8 October...
  • 4th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Saudi campaign against young men wearing low-waist jeans – which has already resulted in hundreds of arrests in Riyadh – has now spread to Madinah. Police in the holy city, aided by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, have begun apprehending...
  • 1st October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Saudi police, together with the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, have arrested more than 100 people at a mixed-gender party in the city of Taif. “Women took off their abayas and danced and mixed with men,” one Saudi news website reported. Meanwhile...
  • 29th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The trial has begun in Jeddah of Mazen Abdul Jawad, the 32-year-old Saudi who bragged on Lebanese television about his sexual conquests. Three others, who have not been named, are also on trial with him, on charges of "publicising vice". After an initial hearing, the case was...
  • 16th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Next week sees the official opening of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia,described as “a bridge between world cultures”. The university, intended to promote international research, has been established by the king outside the control of the...
  • 5th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Hot on the heels of the Human Rights Watch report aboutdiscrimination against Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia, I received this photo of a Shia Ismaili mosque in Khobar. Note the concrete blocks placed in front of the entrance. According to my source, security forces...

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