"Rumours" of sexual harassment fined $800,000 in Saudi Arabia
For spreading "rumours," one can receive a fine up to $800,000, which is ten times the fine a sexual harasser could get for his conviction.
In Saudi Arabia, spreading rumors" is a crime punishable by up to five years in jail. This announcement comes in light of the propagation of claims of sexual harassment on social media.
"Publishing or contributing in any way to rumors and lies via social media on matters affecting public order is a serious crime," said a statement from the public prosecutor's office.
For spreading "rumors," one can receive a fine of up to $800,000, which is ten times the fine a sexual harasser could get for his conviction.
On Friday, several social media allegations of sexual harassment propagated in Riyadh, where the harassment occurred at a concert. Saudi authorities said the claims were false.
Due to heavy rain, the concert was canceled last minute, after which the sexual harassment took place.
According to the statement released by the public prosecutor's office, many people have been called for interrogation for spreading the "rumors."
As a response to the incident, women's rights activists warn that criminalizing accusations of sexual harassment will corner victims and survivors from speaking of their experiences.
Way too many enemies
Mohammad Bin Salman's (MBS) policies, shifting religion and culture in the Kingdom, may come back to haunt him after he takes over the throne after King Salman is gone. According to an article in the Middle East Eye by Madawi Al-Rasheed, Bin Salman's worst nightmare is internal dissent within the House of Saud, for MBS has managed to make many enemies within his kingdom.
Rival princes were tortured and assaulted - some were hung from the ceiling, such as Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Nayef. Saad Al-Jabri, a former intelligence officer for Saudi intelligence, who is now exiled in Canada, also revealed MBS' intentions to poison King Abdullah with a poisoned ring.
Saudi royals have been marginalized since 2015. The royals are silent for now and are afraid for their lives. However, it is not known for how long that will be the case.
A 'collective' rebellion is not a likely scenario, since the royals have become "toothless", according to the MEE article. The article contends that torturing journalists is not the same as torturing royal cousins - MBS may not have a political opposition or a coup against him (the cousins have lost military might), but rather may live with the fear of assassination.
If all else fails, an army of angry, die-hard Wahhabis with not much to lose can pose a big potential threat against MBS.
"The Wahhabis are sure to return with a vengeance, and there will be blood, as the revival of zealotry always comes as a violent deluge. But this will depend on how Saudi youths respond to their frustrations over a lack of jobs and economic opportunities, high inflation, more taxes, and financial hardships. If they feel they don’t have a stake in the new kingdom, they would have nothing to lose by pivoting towards their old Wahhabi mentors," Al-Rasheed wrote.
With the many enemies MBS made, the Crown Prince, perhaps, sleeps with one eye open.