What can you be flogged for in Saudi Arabia?


Saudi blogger Raif Badawi
Image caption Mr Badawi will reportedly be flogged weekly until he has received 1,000 lashes

Last week he was whipped 50 times and this week he was supposed to be beaten again.

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi's been sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for cybercrime, disobeying his father and insulting Islam.

The 31-year-old's website promoted debate over religion and politics in Saudi Arabia.

On Friday, the Saudi king said his case had been referred to the Supreme Court after protests over the flogging.

Earlier, Amnesty International said Raif's latest lashing had been postponed for medical reasons.

People take part in an Amnesty International protest in front of the Saudi Embassy in Vienna, Austria, 16 January 2015
Image caption Amnesty International launched a global campaign to free Mr Badawi

Saudi Arabia's judges can hand down beatings with whips or sticks to those found guilty of offences.

As well as cuts and bruises, the punishment can cause nerve damage, infections and even death in extreme cases.

But what else can you be flogged for in Saudi Arabia? Here are a few examples:

Spending time with the opposite sex

Two Saudi women niqab

In 2006, two men and a 75-year-old woman were sentenced to flogging for "moral crimes" - they'd met members of the opposite sex who weren't "close relatives".

During their trial the men claimed they had been delivering bread to Khamisa Mohammed Sawadi.

One also argued he was related to Khamisa, who had breast-fed him as a child.

The court rejected their arguments, sentencing Khamisa and one of the men to 40 lashes and four months in prison - the other to 60 lashes and six months in prison.


A 19-year-old woman known as the "al-Qatif Girl" was with a male friend when she was attacked and gang-raped by seven men.

The pair later received a six-month prison sentence and 200 lashes each, with authorities claiming the woman confessed to having an affair.

Her lawyer had his own legal licence temporarily removed after criticising the teenager's treatment at the hands of judges.

Driving... if you're a woman

Saudi woman diving a car in protest

Authorities are worried letting women drive would encourage them to leave their houses "more often than they need to".

They're only allowed to drive in the desert or inside private compounds, with families often having to hire private drivers to get them around.

Several women have been sentenced to lashes after they staged a driving protest to highlight discrimination against women.

Being gay

Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia and punished with prison sentences, fines, whippings, chemical castrations and even the death penalty.

In July 2014, a court there jailed a 24-year-old man for three years and sentenced him to 450 lashes for arranging a date with a man on Twitter.

Men have also been flogged for attending "gay weddings", even though gay marriage isn't legally recognised in the country.

Pestering girls

In 2000, it was reported that teenage boys in Saudi Arabia who "pestered" schoolgirls faced public floggings and possible prison terms.

It followed complaints from girls and parents about boys loitering outside schools.

Bringing liqueur chocolates into the country


A Filipino man was sentenced to jail and 75 lashings for bringing two chocolate bars containing alcohol into the country.

He claimed he'd bought the chocolates on a flight stopover and hadn't realised they were alcoholic.

Alcohol is banned in Saudi Arabia.

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