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Saudi Judiciary Looks into Summoning Lebanese Satellite Channel | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat-The Saudi judiciary is examining mechanisms required to summon representatives of a Lebanese satellite channel based in Beirut to the Saudi Judicial Council after the channel aired a program on a young Saudi man speaking openly about his sexual practices, according to Sheikh Abdullah al Othaim, head of the Court of Summary Jurisdiction in Jeddah.

The young Saudi who appeared in the televised report has been subjected to investigations since it was aired as part of the ‘Bold Red Line’ program carried on the Lebanese television channel.

Sheikh Abdullah al Othaim told Asharq Al-Awsat that the idea of summoning the satellite channel to appear before the Saudi judiciary is being studied. He added, “We will take the request to the concerned parties to try and discipline that channel if possible or prevent it from repeating such actions.”

Last Saturday, the Summary Court in Jeddah received over 100 complaints against the young Saudi after he appeared on an Arab satellite channel openly talking about his sexual experiences in his Jeddah apartment. The complaints called for the young man to appear before the Saudi judiciary and for the violations and transgressions he committed to be investigated.

Sheikh Abdullah al Othaim previously stated that the court would issue a warrant for the arrest of the young man and for him to be handed over to the Saudi Bureau of Investigation and General Prosecution over the next few days and then documents would be submitted to the tribunal after having carried out all the necessary procedures and investigations. He indicated that everybody involved in the case – from those who worked on preparing and carrying out the report in Saudi Arabia to those who appeared in the televised report with the young man – will be summoned.

After the complaints were raised against him, investigations were carried out by the government institution where the young Saudi works. It gave him an initial verbal warning.

The young man accused the Lebanese satellite channel of misleading him, stating that he was contacted by a friend last year who suggested the idea of appearing on television to talk about the effect of sexual relations on marriages and he agreed because he had been married for 16 years.

He added that the presenter of the television show had contacted him by phone and asked him to speak specifically about sexual relations for the benefit of people who were getting married and that he was also convinced that a large number of people are ending their marriages because they are not sexually gratified. He stated that this was why he agreed [to take part in the program].

The young man stated that the television channel did not show him the report before it was broadcast even though the producer had promised to, so that he could sign a consent form before the airing of the program. However, the producer did not get in touch for six months, which caused the young Saudi to believe that the episode had been cancelled and would not be aired.

Asharq Al-Awsat emailed Nicole Haddad at the channel’s media relations department for a comment regarding these accusations. Haddad promised that she would answer the questions as soon as possible but failed to respond before deadline.

Marwan al Mutani, an official at the channel, refused to comment on the case and asked the paper to firstly talk to the person responsible for media relations. He indicated that the Lebanese television channel, as part of its ‘Red Line’ program, transmitted a televised report of a young Saudi man talking about his sexual experiences with women throughout his life, describing his sexual exploits and showing some of the sexual aids he uses.