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Feminism is not a crime in Saudi Arabia, HRC stresses

RIYADH — The Presidency of State Security denied a local newspaper report about awarding stringent penalties for women including jail term and flogging.

“The newspaper report is untrue and hence the Presidency has taken the necessary legal procedures against the newspaper with the competent authorities for publishing the false news,” the Presidency said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission (HRC) reiterated on Tuesday that feminism is not criminalized in the country. “The Kingdom accords utmost importance to women’s rights,” the commission said and highlighted that there have been qualitative leaps in the empowerment of women.

HRC noted that the Kingdom is keen on granting women their complete rights so as to enable them to become a significant partner in the country’s sustainable development, which is one of the goals of Vision 2030.

The presidency stated that it is investigating the issue of an erroneous promotional video on the concept of extremism posted on the website of the General Department for Counter Extremism under the presidency. “Those who were in charge of the content of the video had not given their consent for the production of the video which contained an erroneous interpretation of extremism. It was also evident that those who produced and posted it have done it in their individual capacity,” the presidency said, adding that this necessitated an investigation. The presidency also said it has taken all necessary measures for a restructuring with regard to dealing with the new media in order to ensure that such mistakes are not repeated again.