Time: July 10, 2018
JEDDAH — Saudi police on Sunday recorded the first incident of harassment against a female driver in the country since the ban on women driving in the Kingdom was lifted under a royal decision on June 24. However, the harasser was pardoned at the behest of the victim.
Samar Khan, dean of the College of Business at Effat University in Jeddah, reported the harasser to the police. Khan complained that a man in his 20s started bothering her and endangering her as she was driving to work on Sunday.
Police identified the man from his car’s plate number and summoned him to the police station. The man complied and arrived at the police station accompanied by his elder brother.
The young confessed and expressed regret for his action. He said he did not realize the amount of danger he was causing to the woman driver.
Khan came to the police station to identify her harasser. The harasser and his brother apologized to the woman.
“I believe I taught the harasser a lesson that he won’t forget. I demanded that he respect women everywhere. I felt sorry when his older brother lowered his head and began crying. His father and mother were also crying. I decided to forgive the harasser to spare his family from the humiliation,” said Khan.
Addressing all women in the country, she said they should not hesitate from fighting for their rights.
“The police were very cooperative with me and they caught him within hours. I don’t have the right to publicize the harasser’s name or his picture,” said Khan.
Lawyer and legal consultant Mohammad Al-Tuwairqi said harassment cases involve a public right and a private right.
“If the victim of the harassment decides to forgive the harasser, the harasser is only absolved of the infringement of private right. But he still has to face the public rights violation. Harassment penalties include imprisonment for no more than two years and a fine that reaches up to SR100,000. The penalty is more severe for repeat offenders,” said Al-Tuwairqi.