Saudis Lay Down the Law on Cell Porn

Matt O'Conner
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Hindustan Times has reported that the Saudi government is contemplating punishments for distributing adult content on cellphones.

Under the new rules, offenders would face up to 1,000 lashes, 12 years in prison and a fine of roughly $26,700.

The country’s conservative Shura ruling council is expected to support passage of the law within the coming weeks.

Currently, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has no established sentencing guidelines for disseminating explicit material on mobile devices.

However, a Saudi court in January doled out penalties of 1,200 lashes to each of three men found guilty of using cellphones to distribute video showing the rape of a teenage girl.

Soon after, the state-run telecommunications agency issued warnings against using 3G cellphones for immoral purposes.

The government had, until recently, banned the import of 3G phones due to fears over their ability to access the Internet, and adult sites in particular.

Since the ban has been lifted, newspapers have reported a number of disputes involving the distribution of pictures of unveiled women.