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Saudi Shoura Council to study a system against harassment

A specialized committee of the council has studied the outlines of the system and submitted its report on it

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The Shoura Council will soon include in its agenda the formulation of a system to combat harassment, the council’s spokesman Mohammed Al-Muhana has said.

He revealed that a specialized committee of the council has studied the outlines of the system and submitted its report on it.

“Once the study is approved by the general assembly, it will be forwarded to the secretariat general to include the issue in the council’s agenda,” he said.

The spokesman said the specialized committee has completed its study some time ago but the Supreme Authority suggested some additions to the system, which were included in the study.

Muhana said the council is giving a special attention to the issue of harassment in its capacity as the body responsible for formulating laws that will organize the affairs of the society and respond to the needs and requirements of its individuals.

The spokesman revealed that an item in the proposed system calls for a prison term of five years’ maximum and a fine of not more than SR500,000 or the two punishments together for anyone convicted of sexual harassment.

He defined harassment to be any act or conduct with sexual intentions against anyone or touching his/her body or undermining his honor or dignity by any means in any public place.

The spokesman also defined sexual blackmailing as threatening others to reveal their secrets so as to have sex with them. The system to fight harassment was presented by eight members consisting of equal number of men and women.

This article was first published by the Saudi Gazette on November 7, 2016.