Saudi Housewife Faces Possible Prosecution For Posting Picture of Husband Assaulting Housekeeper

__SaudiWomanCatche_3467063bThe plight of servants in Saudi Arabia is well-documented as foreign workers particularly are beaten and sexual assaulted with little apparent repercussions from the Kingdom. Women generally are denied basic rights and freedoms in the country which follows the medieval Sharia legal system. Now a wife is facing imprisonment because she filmed her husband sexually assaulting a maid and posted it. Such filming is viewed as defamation and subject to imprisonment in the draconian legal system in Saudi Arabia.

In the United States, defamation must be first and foremost untrue and truth is a defense. In this case the housewife used her mobile phone to film her husband making sexual advances on their maid as the maid tries to push him away. The wife uploaded the footage to YouTube, alongside the caption “the minimal punishment for this husband is to scandalise him”. Apparently not in Saudi Arabia.

While many women supported the housewife, experts say that she could face criminal charges for defamation under laws designed to keep people from taking embarrassment or scandalous pictures as so called “information technology crimes.”

The case is interesting because for years I have been critical of the effort during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State to support efforts making blasphemy a crime. For many years, I have been writing about the threat of an international blasphemy standard and the continuing rollback on free speech in the West. For recent columns, click here and here and here.

Much of this writing has focused on the effort of the Obama Administration to reach an accommodation with allies like Saudi Arabia to develop a standard for criminalizing anti-religious speech.  We have been following the rise of anti-blasphemy laws around the world, including the increase in prosecutions in the West and the support of the Obama Administration for the prosecution of some anti-religious speech under the controversial Brandenburg standard.  Now that effort has come to a head with the new President of Egypt President Mohamed Mursi calling for enactment of an anti-blasphemy law at the United Nations. Mursi is also demanding legal action against the filmmaker by the United States despite the fact that the film is clearly protected by the first amendment.

This case shows how the Saudis treat exercises of a wide variety of free speech as threatening social order. In this case, the mere fact that the picture is true does not alter the fact that it can be treated as a criminal matter. In the United States, a person can sue civilly for “intrusion upon seclusion” or publication of embarrassing private facts, but these are not crimes. The wife was not trespassing or committing any cognizable crime.

21 thoughts on “Saudi Housewife Faces Possible Prosecution For Posting Picture of Husband Assaulting Housekeeper”

  1. hahahahaha the ardent citing of criticism of Hillary Clinton on the blasphemy issue.


    An attempt at speaking truth to power?

    Lol this place skips over our many war crimes and attempts to legally sanitize and justify slayings of its own citizens.


  2. And the more Islam is being criticized, it’s now apparent the Muslims want nothing to do with the criticism.

    It is no secret that Dubai is the secret city of secret sins. It is known from various sources that Dubai has sexually trafficked European women from Eastern European countries for sex work, employs “immigrants” for work where they’re paid less without their passport in their hands. They’re forced to work as ‘slaves’. It is listed in the Book of Revelations that there is a nation that has a city that holds slaves, which is prophetically coming true someday.

    Now, the EU wants to makes sure that to commit Islamophobia, it would be considered libel to protest against Islam for any reason, even if said speech is the truth.

  3. One may recall the spirited debate on an earlier thread about the consequences of overwhelming numbers of Middle Eastern refugees pouring into European countries. The concern was that the ME didn’t seem to be absorbing any of them, leaving them to overwhelm the non-ME host countries’ benefits systems and culture. Such numbers would have the unintended consequence of not assimilating, but rather bringing cultural problems with them, like honor killings of victims of gang rape in Syria, for example:

    When refugees are not spread out sufficiently, they retain customs that are contrary to the laws and values of the host countries. Another example would be if the entire Mexican drug cartel immigrated to the US all at once, they obviously would not suddenly have American values. They would bring crime with them.

    That is exactly why immigration needs to be managed, so that the numbers can have the opportunity to assimilate to the ways and laws of the host country, instead of just brining their problems with them to thrive in a new environment. If we managed our own immigration wisely, we would have the money and time to give new immigrants immersion classes on our cultures and laws, as well as English classes. A chance, rather than a flood that struggles here, too.

  4. Religions are systems of ideas — and all ideas should be criticized (including this one).

    Anyone incapable or unwilling to understand this, is inherently a danger to free-speech and freedom generally.

  5. John:

    “Let Christians stop and look at the Sanhedrin that got Jesus executed and say something about that for once instead of always prattling on about Islam.”

    Well, John, if we’re going to be prevented from saying garbage stinks today because of something ancient ancestors did 5,000 years ago, then we should just dismantle our criminal justice system, and turn a blind eye to global crisis.

    Heck, since Cain killed Able, that alone would preclude us from remarking on mass shootings today, by that logic.

  6. It’s not defamation if it’s TRUE!

    What a &(*&(*&&(&! Sorry, I’m struggling to find something printable to say.

    That poor domestic worker. The plight of women in general is dire in Saudi Arabia, but especially so for female foreign employees. God bless that wife for doing what she could. She is very brave, and I respect and admire her.

    One of the reasons why my father decided to retire from the military is because we were going to be stationed in the Kingdom. He was greatly affected when he witnessed the beheading of 2 gay men in Chop Chop Square. He also told me about encountering non-Saudi fathers trying to find their daughters, who had gone to Saudi Arabia and disappeared.

    That entire region is a humanitarian mess, and needs to clean up its act. This isn’t even unusual for domestic workers to be abused. Even royal princesses are abused in the Kingdom. All of us were justifiably horrified at the Ariel Castro kidnappings of 3 young girls for 10 years. But this goes on all the time around the world – Saudi Arabia is just one example. At least Castro was arrested.

  7. John Smith,
    Oh you better be careful, you’re going to upset some of the fundamentalist Chrisitians with your comment about criticizing the Jewish religion. Fundamentalist Christians are deeply aligned with Israel and the Jewish religion. Are you suggesting we blame the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus? Wasn’t it God’s plan that his Son die on the Cross for all our sins? Are not the Jews God’s chosen people?

  8. Why is it ok to criticize Islam but not the Jewish religion?

    The book of Samuel says that God commanded their ancestors to commit genocide of various Canaanite tribes, and yet I hear them talking about their many losses in ww2 all the time. Why did God will them to kill Amalek, but God did not will that?

    Let Christians stop and look at the Sanhedrin that got Jesus executed and say something about that for once instead of always prattling on about Islam.

  9. Important ally which has been pulling our strings because of their OIL forever. Left should think of this as debate about our being better ble to export oil and gas. The more gas used versus oil and coal the cleaner the air has become. So come on left we need to unshackle ourselves from this country (hopefully we are cooling on overturning the endless supply of brutal dictators).

  10. This stuff has been going on for a long time. Fun times in the bedroom. Ishmael and Joseph.

    God had promised Abraham many descendants, but, ten years after the promise, Sarah was still unable to have children, and they were both on the verge of becoming too old to have children at all.
    Sarah chose to give her servant Hagar to Abraham, in accordance with the custom of that day, so that Sarah could have a child (Ishmael) through her.

    Then the account of Potiphar’s wife in Egypt. Enter Joseph, a handsome young Israelite, despised by his brothers. They “sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites”,
    who in turn sold him to Potiphar, no doubt for a tidy profit.

    Meanwhile, Mrs. Potiphar had an appetite of her own. And look who came along to satisfy it: Joseph, that “well-built and handsome” Hebrew slave. He was definitely “attractive”,
    assuredly “strong and good-looking, and right there under her roof.

  11. Sharem El Sheik
    “As well the maid should. She has employment. The wife should be punished for such indignant behaviour. Woman is property of the man.”

    I think the husband should have his little hot dog shot right off his scrotum.

    I think Sharem should stop following Mohammad’s laws because they have scientifically proven that the qoran is older than the prophet.

    He was a child molester who married a rich widow for her money and killed people who didn’t do what he told them to do.

  12. I did not know that Hillary Clinton supported making blasphemy a crime. If I could vote I would vote for The Donald. He understands that word. But I can not vote because I am from Remulak. I guess I could give money to The Donald for the campaign.

  13. As well the maid should. She has employment. The wife should be punished for such indignant behaviour. Woman is property of the man.

  14. Our involvement with countries in the Middle East has truly infected our country so much so that we have turned away from our support for free speech and grown a crop of theocrats who lust after the powers exercised by the fanatics in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. The US NEEDS TO EXTRICATE ITSELF FRO THE ME. Let the Russians have it.

  15. US Americans are fired from their jobs and otherwise defamed and punished for criticizing one particular Middle Eastern country, which is not Saudi Arabia. The protected country is, however led by a brutal butcher with full support among its citizens for butchering its neighbors as well as its own people if they are the wrong religion.

  16. From my viewpoint as a extra terresteral, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia share much in common.

    I have some trouble with the English use of words here. The first sentence says “heated” and sexually assaulted. Then later there is reference to a film maker but no name is given for film maker or film.

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