Two Years Jail and 100,000 Riyals Fine for Harassment

Shura Council has approved the anti-harassment draft law.

The draft, endorsed by an 84-vote majority in the 150-member consultative body, defines harassment as any word, act or sign with a sexual connotation by a person to any other person that harms their body or modesty by any means, including through modern technology.

The draft stipulates prison terms of up to two years and/or fines of up to 100,000 Saudi riyals for harassers.

The imprisonment could reach up to five years and the fine 300,000 Saudi riyals in case of repeated offences or if the harassment targets a child or a person with special needs or if the offender has direct authority over the victim, or if the offence occurs in a place of work, study, a shelter or care centre, or if the offender and the victim are of the same sex, or if the victim is unconscious or if the crime occurs during a crisis, disaster or an accident.

Anyone who incites others agrees with them or assists them in any way to commit harassment is given the same penalty prescribed for the offender, while anyone who attempts to harass will be given up to half of the maximum punishment.

Anyone who gives a false notification about an act of harassment will be given the same penalty prescribed for the offense, Saudi daily Okaz reported on Tuesday.