Saudi king pardons reporter sentenced to 60 lashes

Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:40pm EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article
[-] Text [+]

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's king has pardoned a woman journalist sentenced to 60 lashes for her role in a television program in which a Saudi man spoke about his sexual exploits, a government official said Monday.

Like many Muslim countries, Saudi Arabia prohibits sexual content on television, newspapers, magazines and books.

A court sentenced Rosana Alyami, 22, Saturday for helping produce a Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC) show in which Mazen Abdul-Jawad spoke about his sexual adventures in the conservative kingdom.

"The king has vindicated me. I am satisfied with the king's order and I accept the decisions of the sovereign," Alyami told Reuters after being informed of the pardon.

Information Ministry spokesman Abdul-Rahman al-Hazzaa said the pardon meant that the issue would be in the hands of the ministry for possible disciplinary action.

"They will transfer the case to the ministry of information ... In this case, the flogging has been dropped."

Earlier this month, Abdul-Jawad was sentenced to five years in jail and 1,000 lashes. Abdul-Jawad spoke openly of his sexual experiences on the talk show, "In Bold Red" in July.

Courts in Saudi Arabia, which implements a strict version of Islamic law, are controlled by clerics who have wide discretion in sentencing.

(Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Inal Ersan and Angus MacSwan