Vision 2030

Council of Ministers passed Anti-Harassment law

On May 30, 2018, Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers has passed a long sought anti-harassment law, which carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to SAR 300,000. The Council of Ministers, swiftly passed the law only a day after the 150-seat Shura Council, the Kingdom’s legislative advisory body, approved the draft bill with a majority of 84 votes. The legislation was prepared by the Ministry of Interior on the orders of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, who heads the Council of Ministers.

“After reviewing the comments of His Royal Highness the Minister of Interior, and after considering the Shura Council Resolution No. (163/40) dated 13/9/1439 H (May 28, 2018), the Council of Ministers decided to approve the system to combat the crime of harassment,” the official Cabinet statement. A royal decree has been prepared.

King Salman ordered the Ministry of Interior to prepare the anti-harassment bill in light of the negative impact of harassment on the individual, family and society. Harassment also violates Islamic values. In order to combat the social phenomenon of harassment, it was deemed necessary to enact a law that criminalises such behavior and spells out its legal consequences. The legislation consists of eight articles and “aims at combating the crime of harassment, preventing it, applying punishment against perpetrators and protecting the victims in order to safeguard the individual’s privacy, dignity and personal freedom which are guaranteed by Islamic law and regulations,” according to a Shura Council statement. The anti-harassment legislations “is a very important addition to the history of regulations in the Kingdom,” Shura Council member, Dr. Latifa Al Shaalan, said. “It fills a large legislative vacuum, and it is a deterrent system when compared with a number of similar laws in other countries.” Calling the new law a ‘qualitative leap’ in the fight against sexual harassment, leading lawyer Dimah Alsharif told Arab News that the end of the driving ban focused attention on the issue of potential harassment. The new law will help by “imposing clear and specific clauses directly related to driving and to ensuring people’s freedom to practice this right.”



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