Saudi female ‘marriage mediator’ sentenced to prison, lashes

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A criminal court sentenced an expatriate marriage mediator to six months in prison, 50 lashes and deportation after she serves her sentence.

The woman was found guilty of immoral and unlawful activities and acting as a pimp. She arranged meetings between men and women under the pretense of misyar marriage, Al-Madinah daily reported.


Three other women were arrested at her house were also sentenced. One of the women was found to be in possession of hashish.

All three were sentenced to four months in prison and 50 lashes because they agreed to meet men for marriage without the presence of their male guardians. According to Saudi law, women are not allowed to marry without a legal marriage contract and they also cannot meet strange men even for discussing a marriage relationship.

Police arrested the women after they received a tip-off that an expatriate woman was allowing men and women to meet in her house under the pretext of arranging misyar marriages for them.

Misyar is a temporary marriage in which certain rights are relinquished by both partners.

A police officer called the woman mediator and claimed that he wanted to marry two women at the same time.

The mediator allegedly told him that she could accommodate his request, even if he wanted three women at the same time.

She then gave him the number of another marriage mediator who asked him to visit her house to see the women.

When he arrived at her house, she brought four women for him to choose from and told him that their dowry was between SR15,000 and SR20,000. Her commission was SR1,000 for each woman. The officer then signaled a security team waiting outside and they arrested everyone.

One of the women was married and was a legal resident, while the other women were illegals.

(This article was originally published in Saudi Gazette on May 4, 2014.)

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