MANAMA: A court in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday sentenced a woman to 70 lashes and a fine of 20,000 Saudi Riyals (SR) for insulting a man on instant-messaging application WhatsApp, said a report published on Gulf News.
According to a source at the criminal court in Al Qatif, the court announced the verdict after it transpired that the 32-year-old woman was guilty of tarnishing the reputation of the plaintiff on WhatsApp, local daily Okaz has reported on Monday.
The complainant filed the suit after an argument with the woman. The source did not disclose the nature of the disagreement between the two; however, the defendant admitted she had insulted the man but reportedly rejected the court ruling.
Article Three of the Saudi Anti-Cyber Crime Law states that whoever defames or inflicts damage upon others through various information technology devices "shall be subject to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and a fine not exceeding SR500,000 or to either punishment."
In another incident in July 2014, two women in Jeddah were sentenced to 20 lashes and 10 days in jail for insulting each other on WhatsApp.
The case reached court after one of the women sued the other for allegedly slandering her reputation and insulting her. The judge had issued the verdict after viewing the exchange of messages between the two women who are reportedly cousins.
The judge had sought to end the strife between the two cousins, however neither wanted to apologise.