27 Oct 2009

Saudi journalist won't get 60 lashes after all

3:09 pm on 27 October 2009

Saudi Arabia's king has pardoned a journalist sentenced to 60 lashes for her role in a television programme in which a Saudi man spoke about his sexual exploits.

The journalist is one of two female producers at Lebanese satellite channel LBC who were put on trial over the programme.

Mazen Abdul Jawad, the Saudi man who talked in the documentary about how he picked up Saudi women for sex, has already been jailed. Despite his subsequent apology he was jailed for five years and sentenced to 1,000 lashes.

Saudi Arabia prohibits sexual content on television and in newspapers, magazines and books.

The BBC reports that the programme - part of a series called Red Lines examining taboos in the Arab world - caused a huge scandal when it was shown several months ago.

LBC has long been attacked by Saudi religious leaders for being at the forefront of Arab satellite stations broadcasting programmes into the kingdom featuring scantily clad Arab singers and actresses.

The station's offices in Saudi Arabia have been closed down.

LBC is part-owned by Saudi media mogul Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.