Expatriate sex pests face deportation
Expatriates found guilty of sexually harassing women and sentenced to three months and over in jail, and more than 40 lashes, would be deported, the Ministry of Interior announced recently.
However, it appears that judges still have wide discretion on what constitutes serious sexual harassment, including whether flirting would be grounds for deportation.
“The main problem is that sanctions are still unclear for most social violations and left to the discretion of the judge. However, there are known sanctions for criminals such as alcohol users who can incur up to 80 lashes and deportation,” Mohammed Al-Tamimi, a law adviser told Arab News recently.
“A jail sentence of three months is enough to lead to deportation for expatriate offenders. However, most violations carrying this sentence are unclear but it does act as a deterrent and ensures that expatriates in the Kingdom are more mindful of local laws,” he said.
The ministry’s directives also include banning expatriates with criminal records in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries from entry into Saudi Arabia.
First time violators of the country’s residency laws would be banned for three years, and life for second-time violators, the ministry stated.
However, first-time offenders in petty crimes with sentences of less than three months in prison and fewer than 40 lashes would not be deported. Instead, they will be obliged to sign an undertaking to refrain from repeating the crime. Second-time offenders would be deported.
Meanwhile, expatriates here are wary of getting involved in fights with Saudis, claiming that they are arrested even if they did not start the fight. They can also get 80 lashes and deported for insulting a Saudi.
“I would not like to get into a fight or insult anyone due to the sanctions that could lead to my deportation from the Kingdom, said Mustafa Al-Said, an Egyptian resident who lives in Jeddah.