IFJ Welcomes Saudi Withdrawal on Decision to Flog Female Journalist

The

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today welcomed the decision of

King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz decision to cancel a Saudi Court sentence ordering a female

journalist to receive 60 lashes over a controversial sex broadcast. The IFJ

says laws in the country should now be reviewed to protect journalists.

A Saudi

Arabian court judgment had sentenced journalist Rozanna al-Yami to 60 lashes, a

two- year travel ban and ordered her not to work for unlicensed media agencies,

after she was involved in preparing a television show in which a Saudi man

publicly talked about sex on the Lebanese channel LBC, which is partly owned by

a member of the Saudi royal family.

Following

the King's decision to cancel the flogging sentence the case, along with another one involving a woman journalist, has been referred to the Ministry of Information.

"The

decision of Saudi Arabia

King to cancel the flogging punishment is a relief to everyone in journalism,"

said Aidan White, IFJ General

Secretary. "This has been a terrible ordeal for the journalist and no further

action should be taken against her. She has suffered enough."

This

case, says the IFJ, highlights the importance of a regional-wide campaign Breaking

the Chains in which IFJ affiliates across the Arab World are calling for

the repeal of criminal laws penalising journalists

and which highlights the arrest, imposition of disproportionate fines, and violence

against media professionals.

"Journalists

across the Arab World have been shocked by this case," said White. "They want

an end to all forms on intimidation. We urge Saudi Arabia authorities to take

concrete actions for a complete overhaul of the law to provide protection

for journalists operating in the country."

For more information

contact the IFJ at

  +32 2 235 2207       

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists

in 123 countries worldwide