Saudi gets 40 lashes for abusing ex on WhatsApp

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Couples should end their unhappy marriages through goodwill, not in abusive messages, says lawyer Nijoud Addawi while welcoming the court verdict.

By Adnan Al-Shabrawi

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — The Court of Appeals in Jeddah has upheld a ruling issued by the Summary Court sentencing a Saudi man to 40 whiplashes for abusing his ex-wife through WhatsApp messages.

The court convicted the man, who was not identified by name, for sending about 600 abusive messages to his ex-wife, which included dirty language and accusations against her modesty and honor.

The court gave the ex-wife the option to attend the whipping if she so wished. It ordered that the man should be whipped 40 times in one go in various parts of his body.

The court sources said the differences between the man and his ex-wife stemmed from the right of custody over their three children.

They said the court referred their case three times to a reconciliation committee but both of them rejected all reconciliation attempts and insisted that the court rule on their case.

The court said the man had committed an illegal and a ugly act by sending abusive messages to his ex-wife. It also made the ex-husband sign a solemn pledge to go straight, behave himself and never to abuse his ex-wife by deeds or words.

Lawyer Nijoud Addawi welcomed the ruling and warned husbands and wives against using social media to harm each other.

She said such acts involve breach of public and private rights, which may lead to imprisonment and fine.

“Couples should end their unhappy marriages through goodwill, not in abusive messages,” Addawi said.

She added that the court honored the woman by giving her permission to witness the whipping of her ex-husband.


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