British Couple Face Risk of Flogging on Alcohol Charges in Saudi Arabia
A British couple have been arrested in Saudi Arabia for possession of alcohol, a crime that can carry a flogging sentence in the kingdom, the British embassy said Tuesday.
An embassy spokeswoman said Ann and Peter Goldsmith, both Saudi residents, were arrested in Riyadh "on or around October 14" and being held in separate prisons, in line with the Saudi policy of segregating the sexes.
"Consular officials have seen them both and we have made representations for the release of Mrs. Goldsmith on medical grounds," she said, without giving details on the woman's health.
"The Saudi authorities are still investigating, and as the case is sub judice, we can not comment or speculate on sentencing," the spokeswoman said.
Officials in Riyadh have declined to comment on the case but a Saudi source told AFP that "the legal procedures will be followed," signaling the affair was likely to be lengthy.
Under a strict version of Islamic laws, the kingdom imposes the death penalty on people found guilty of murder, rape, apostasy, armed robbery, drug trafficking and repeated drug offences.
Adulterers are stoned and the penalty for consumption of alcohol is flogging – RIYADH (AFP)
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