A 13-year-old Saudi schoolgirl is to be given 90 lashes in front of
her classmates after she was caught with a mobile camera phone.
The girl, who has not been named, was also sentenced to two months in jail by a court in the eastern city of Jubail.
She had assaulted her headmistress after being caught with the
gadget which is banned in girl schools, said Al-Watan, a Saudi
newspaper. The kingdom's use of such punishments has been widely
condemned by human rights organisations.
Brutal: public floggings, such as in this
archive picture, are a common punishment handed down by religious
courts in Saudi Arabia
Three years ago 16 schoolchildren, aged between 12 and 18, were each
sentenced to between 300 and 500 lashes for being aggressive to a
Under Saudi's Sharia or Islamic law, flogging is mandatory for
a number of moral offences such as adultery or being alone in the
company of an unrelated person of the opposite sex. But it can also be
used at the discretion of judges as an alternative or in addition to
said a court in the northeastern Gulf port of Jubail had sentenced the
girl to 90 lashes inside her school, followed by two months' detention.
The punishment is harsher than tha dished out to some robbers and looters.
Arabia, a leading US ally in the Middle East, is an absolute monarchy
controlled by the Al-Saud ruling tribe, and lacks any legal code.
Absolute monarchy: King Abdullah, ruler of the oil-rich state, meeting Gordon Brown on a 2007 visit to Downing Street
King Abdullah has promoted some social reforms since taking the
throne in 2005 but diplomats say he is held back by religious clerics
Cinemas and music concerts are banned, while
many restaurants and even some shopping centres cater to families only,
especially on holidays.
Religious police roam streets to make sure no unrelated men and women mix.
Saudi court system is exclusively controlled Wahahbi/Salafi clerics,
and bans the employment of non-Salafi citizens, especially as judges.
Arabia is the world's leading country in the use of
torture-by-flogging, public beheadings and publically crucifying
The country crucified two people in 2009, including one in the capital Riyadh during President Barak Obamaâ€™s visit last April.
In September, 20 Saudi teenagers who ransacked shops and restaurants were publicly flogged.
Newspapers reported that the teenagers received at least 30 lashes each in a public square.
Most of the hijackers in the September 11 attacks in 2001 came from Saudi Arabia.
Oil wealth: a refinery in Jubail, where a court ordered a girl of 13 to be flogged