50 lashes was a Saudi businesswoman’s sentence for speaking out against the morality police, according to reports. A Saudi Arabian judge upheld her conviction Sunday, which includes a month in prison for the offense.
The 50 lashes for the Saui Arabian woman was the sentence for insulting the morality police during an argument, the Arabic newspaper Al-Medina reported. Officers of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice visited her café and said some of her employees ran because they feared punishment for breaking immigration laws.
The businesswoman was officially charged with “cursing the morality police” and calling them “liars” in court, and her violent punishment was upheld by a Saudi judge.
This isn’t the first time that relatively minor perceived offenses have resulted in harsh punishments by the Saudi morality police. In July, two woman in the conservative Muslim country were sentenced to 20 lashes and 10 days in prison for sending insults to each other via text message and WhatsApp, a internet messaging app.
Cases like these have resulted in an outcry over social media channels by concerned Saudi Arabian citizens who feel the morality police have overstepped their bounds.
In 2012, King Abdullah, the ruler of Saudi Arabia, was forced to fire morality police officials because bystanders captured officers harassing people in a shopping mall.
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice was established in 1926. They seek to uphold the values of the Sunni Islam religion in public places throughout Saudi Arabia.