A Saudi court ruled, for the first time in the kingdom’s history, to defame a man convicted of sexual harassment, local media reported.
The Criminal Court in Medina convicted Yasser Laroui of harassing a woman using obscene language.
He was sentenced to eight months in prison and paid a fine of $1,330.
The anti-harassment law was amended a year ago to allow for the publication of the names of harassers and the sentences issued against them in local newspapers at their own expense.
It was left to the judges to decide whether the “gravity of the crime and its impact on society” justified the move.
The amendment was welcomed by many in the conservative Gulf kingdom at the time, with one commentator saying it was a “long overdue” amendment.
The law, which went into effect in 2018, stipulates penalties of up to two years in prison and fines of up to $27,000, for those found guilty of sexual harassment.
Repeat harassers face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $80,000.
Despite these legal steps, some Saudi women complain that the authorities are still not doing enough to stop the harassment.
One of them recently told the BBC that online comments on videos documenting incidents of harassment often blamed women for their harassment, and that victims could be punished just as perpetrators.
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