King waives journalist's punishmentPosted Oct 29 2009
On Oct. 24, a Saudi court in Jeddah sentenced journalist Rozanna al-Yami, 22, to 60 lashes because she worked for the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC), a satellite TV station that aired a controversial sex confession from a divorced Saudi man. Two days later, King Abdullah waived her punishment.
LBC aired the sex-talk episode as part of the program, “Bold Red Line,” in July. In the segment, Mazen Abdul-Jawad discussed his sex life and showed sex toys blurred by the television station, according to The New York Times. The episode shocked the country, and the Ministry of Culture and Information closed LBC’s Riyadh and Jeddah bureaus on Aug. 9. Two months later, Abdul-Jawad was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and five years in prison.
Al-Yami has said that though she was a coordinator for the program, she did not work on the episode in question. The charges against her were dropped, but she says the judge gave the sentence of lashes “as a deterrence,” The New York Times reports.
Information Ministry spokesman Abdul-Rahman al-Hazza told the Associated Press that the king made a decision after Information Minister Abdel Aziz Khoja briefed him on the situation. Al-Hazza also told the AP the king ordered the Yami case and that of a pregnant journalist also accused of involvement with the program to be sent to a committee in the ministry.