Only in Saudi Arabia: Businesswoman whipped for yelling at the religious police
The Court of Appeals in Makkah has upheld a sentence of prison and lashes recently issued by the Summary Court in Jeddah against a Saudi businesswoman who criticized members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia).
The woman, reported Al-Madinah newspaper on Sunday, was sentenced to a month’s imprisonment and 50 lashes for yelling at Haia members who had uncovered violations in a coffee shop she owns.
The newspaper did not identity the defendant. The Summary Court issued a preliminary verdict sentencing the woman to five days in prison and 10 lashes. The Court of Appeals rejected the ruling and told the Summary Court to give her a harsher sentence.
According to the list of charges compiled by the public prosecutor, the Haia officials were preparing a report about the violations at the coffee shop when the woman arrived and started calling them bad names.
The Haia members said the woman accused them of being ignorant and liars.
She denied the charges but witnesses and the policeman accompanying the Haia members testified against her.
The case had been in the courts for many months before the verdict and sentence was finally upheld by the Court of Appeals.