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Saudi woman to be lashed for promoting program about sex

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Remember the unfortunate Saudi man who got five years in jail and 1,000 lashings for boasting about his colorful sexual life on television?

Well, the same court in Jeddah has now sentenced a young woman to 60 lashes for helping prepare and promote online the program on which he made his boasts.

Rozanna Al Yami, who is in her 20s, was also barred from traveling outside Saudi Arabia for two years, according to attorney Suliman Al Jumaie.

Al Jumaie is not Al Yami’s lawyer, but he represents Mazen Abdul Jawad, 32, who got the earlier harsh sentence after the court found him guilty of spreading immorality and vice by speaking openly of his sex life.

Al Yami was a part-time worker in the Jeddah office of the Beirut-based Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC), which aired the offensive program, called “Bold Red Line.”

The channel, which is controlled by billionaire Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz, has declined to comment on the incident from the beginning.

If the verdict issued Oct. 24 against Al Yami stands, “it will be a big problem for any journalist” because it means that media workers can be taken to criminal courts, Al Jumaie said in an interview. “Any journalist will be afraid in his work.”

He said that Al Yami began crying loudly when the verdict was announced, but she fears that appealing would only bring her a harsher sentence.