A UK pensioner caught with homemade wine in Saudi Arabia could receive 360 lashes as punishment.
Karl Andree, 74, has already spent more than a year in prison and now faces this further inhumane punishment, which his family say could kill him.
UK Prime Minster David Cameron is reportedly writing to the Saudi government about the case.
The production, possession or consumption of alcohol is strictly forbidden in Saudi Arabia.
The incident has brought a renewed focus on Saudi Arabia’s incredibly harsh crime and punishment regime and, incredibly, this isn’t the only thing which can result in a flogging in the super conservative nation.
Here are eight more “crimes” which could result in a punishment of lashes, from the seemingly innocuous to the downright horrendous…
1) Bragging about sex
In October 2009, a man who appeared on a TV programme to discuss his sex life and how to chat up women was slapped with a punishment of 1,000 lashes and five years in jail. Talking about sex publicly is forbidden in the nation and the man was arrested for “publicising vice”. Dapper Laughs would be fucked…
2) ‘Pestering’ girls
In 2000, Reuters reported that a group of teenage boys faced public floggings and possible prison terms for loitering outside girls’ schools and “pestering” members of the opposite sex.
3) Driving a car (if you’re a woman)
Being a female driver in Saudi Arabia isn’t smooth sailing either. Despite the fact it isn’t actually illegal, conservative religious edicts have banned it and authorities do not issue women with licences, because it might encourage them to leave their houses “more often than they need to”. In September 2011, Shaima Ghassaniya was sentenced to 10 lashes after being found guilty of driving without the government’s permission, although her punishment was eventually revoked.
4) Insulting Islam
Saudi citizens can’t expect much in the way of freedom of speech either. Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam in May 2014, after he set up an online discussion group which encouraged chat about religious and political issues.
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) January 20, 2015
5) Bringing chocolates into the country
In September 1999, a man was arrested for possession of two chocolate bars containing alcohol. Faustino Salazar claimed he bought the sweets from a duty-free shop during a flight stopover and was unaware of their boozy content, but it didn’t stop a court from sentencing him to four months behind bars and 75 lashes.
6) Hanging out with members of the opposite sex
Saudi Arabia prohibits mingling between members of the opposite sex unless they are immediate relatives. In 2009, Khamisa Mohammed Sawadi, 75, was sentenced to 40 lashes and four months in jail for having two unrelated men in her house. The two men were also found guilty of “moral crimes”, despite their excuse that they were simply bringing the elderly woman bread.
A 19-year-old woman was with a male friend in his car when she was driven away and gang raped by a group of seven men. Horrifically, she was then sentenced to prison time and lashes under the aforementioned law segregating the sexes, because she was alone with a man not related to her. Authorities later claimed she also admitted to having an extra-marital affair.
Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia. A 24-year-old man was sentenced to three years in jail and 450 lashes after he was caught using Twitter to arrange dates with other men. Same-sex marriage is also outlawed in the country and a host of people caught attending gay weddings have also been sentenced to flogging.
And, worryingly, this isn’t even as bad as things can get in Saudi Arabia, with some crimes in the country still punishable by death – beheading and crucifixion are still used, as seen most recently in the case of teenager Ali Mohammed al-Nimr.
Probably not a nation we’ll be travelling to any time soon, then…