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SAUDI ARABIA

Judicial CP - November 2000



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BBC News, London, 30 November 2000

Middle East

In-flight mobile phone user faces flogging

A Saudi man is to be flogged as punishment for using a mobile telephone during an internal flight, according to a report in the Saudi press.

Al-Madina newspaper said the sentence of 20 lashes was handed down by an Islamic court in Tabuk, in north-western Saudi Arabia, where the passenger was picked up by police on his arrival from Riyadh.

The man had answered an incoming call on his mobile phone while the plane was in the air.

Civil aviation laws in many countries prohibit the use of electronic communications during flights.

Criticism

Corporal punishment is used for a number of offences under Saudi Arabia's strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have long criticised Saudi Arabia for running what they believe is a harsh system of justice.

An Amnesty report earlier this year accused the country of having an appalling human rights record, and called on the international community to intervene.

Saudi Arabia rejects allegations of abuse.

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