Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said on Thursday that the anti-harassment system would be launched within days, following its publication in the official gazette.
This was announced at a press conference to unveil the system approved by the Council of Ministers at its meeting last Tuesday, after reviewing what was raised by the Minister of the Interior, and to consider the decision of the Shura Council.
The security spokesman Major General Mansour al-Turki said that harassment is a criminal offense in the Kingdom, according to the provisions of Islamic law, pointing out that the system of combating the crime of harassment takes into account persons who are less than 18 years of age and people with special needs.
He added that the system punishes anyone against whom a written complaint about the crime of harassment is provided and against any person who agrees or helps to commit it, stressing the confidentiality of dealing with the communications, as the authorities are keen to pay attention to the confidentiality of information related to the crimes and protect the victim.
He added that the system is binding on the public and private sectors to take measures to prevent harassment. A government body will monitor the private sector, supervise it and ensure its commitment to the system and related procedures.
The anti-harassment measure was approved on Monday by the Shura Council advisory body.
It introduces a jail sentence of up to five years and a 300,000 riyals ($80,000) fine.
“(The legislation) aims at combating the crime of harassment, preventing it, applying punishment against perpetrators and protecting the victims in order to safeguard the individual's privacy, dignity and personal freedom which are guaranteed by Islamic law and regulations,” a statement from the Shura Council said.