The End of Empire

Dismantle oppression. Deepen democracy. Destroy tyranny.

Oct 22

Stupid Laws in Saudi Arabia

Here’s a short list of some of the ridiculous laws in Saudi Arabia in no particular order:

-Women are not permitted to drive vehicles or ride bicycles.

-Homosexual acts are illegal and penalties include the death penalty.

-Women are required to wear an abaya or modest clothing when in public.

-On 25 September 2011, King Abdullah announced that Saudi women would gain the right to vote (and to be candidates) in municipal elections, following the next round of these elections. However, a male guardian’s permission is required in order to vote.

-Penalties for some criminal offences include corporal punishment and deportation. Theft-related offences may be punished with amputation, while offenders may be sentenced to lashes for other crimes.

-Preaching religions other than Islam may result in imprisonment and corporal punishment. The practise of any religion but Islam is illegal, though normally permitted in private.

-The importation and use of alcohol, pork products, pornography (including images of scantily clad people, particularly women), religious books and materials (other than those reflecting orthodox Islam) is forbidden. Generally, individuals are able to bring one bible for private use.

-Possession of alcohol may result in imprisonment and corporal punishment. Travellers have been detained on arrival in Saudi Arabia when police have detected the smell of alcohol on their breath.

-Women are legally required to wear the abaya, a long black cloak that conceals their body shape, in all public places. The abaya is worn over normal clothing. While many local women wear a headscarf, foreign women are not generally required to follow suit. It is advisable, though, to carry a headscarf in case you are confronted by the religious police (Muttawa) or a private citizen who takes offence.

-It is illegal for unmarried couples to live together. Hotels may refuse accommodation to couples unable to provide proof of marriage. Foreign women travelling alone may be refused hotel accommodation, even if they are carrying a letter from their male guardian giving them permission to travel.

-Men should avoid wearing shorts, or short-sleeved or unbuttoned shirts. For details on legally acceptable clothing for women, please see Local Laws. You should seek advice on what is acceptable clothing before you arrive and take care not to offend.

-Foreign women have reported incidents of verbal harassment after being approached by the religious police (Muttawa), usually for not wearing a headscarf. If approached by the religious police, you should remain sensitive to their authority and seek to end the encounter as quickly as possible by covering your hair with a scarf and leaving the area immediately. The religious police may also approach men for wearing shorts in public places.

-Public displays of affection, including kissing and holding hands, are considered offensive.

-Public events are segregated according to gender. 

…there are more, I just got too upset and couldn’t continue…